Sep 10, 2008

Creamy Chicken Casserole

This is a simple, fast and delicious meal. They are the absolute best. This recipes also ranks high in the ‘male favorite foods top 10′ here. Geez, I wonder why. Big plus for me; you can make it ahead of time, and it’s a soup based sauce rather than just heavy cream with a few floating mushrooms here and there.

I love to come up with exotic recipes, it’s a sport to think of new, crazy and fun things to cook. Now I’m blessed with a son who prefers Moroccan lamb tajine over french fries, so I’ve got it made. But seriously, spending hours sweating and slaving over a hot stove every single day is just not realistic, so here’s how I usually go about things.

Over the years I came up with roughly 10 to 12 standard ‘every day’, fool-proof recipes that are fast, easy and tasty. Dishes I can make with my eyes closed, recipes that require little preparation time and are the kind of food most people like. But the most important thing; they’re all meals that -with a little tweaking- constantly come out different so eating them never gets boring. It’s so important to get a standard repertoire of at least 7 dishes and work from there.

This is one of the recipes I came up with years ago. It usually pops up every 2 weeks and the ingredients have varied greatly over the years. I’m making it with potato slices now, but chances are next time I’ll replace the potatoes with pineapple slices, add a few hands of green peas and serve the exact same dish with rice or pasta.

Ingredients:

2oz bacon
1 pound potatoes
2 chicken fillets
8 slices ham
8 slices cheese
cream of mushroom soup
4 tbsp sour cream
black pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 (200C)

It’s quite a caloric dish, so I don’t eat this too often. But you see, I had two hardworking men to feed! When you’re helping dad work in the yard, you just need a sound meal to replenish all those lost calories. It had absolutely nothing to do with my fat/cheese/meat/chicken cravings. Nothing at all. It was all about the kid! I mean, c’mon, look at the poor kid break out a sweat!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

So mom went into the kitchen. Peeled the potatoes (about a pound), and cut them in 1/2 inch slices.

Give them a good wash, and preboil them until fork tender in lightly salted water. I always do my preboiling in the microwave and use these glass bowls you see them in, have tons of them in all possible sizes. I gave the potatoes 12 minutes at 1000 watts.

Use two pretty large chicken fillets and cut each fillet in 4 strips.

Now I know there are people who wash chicken before cooking it. Please, please, don’t ever do it again. I’m dead serious. It’s not only utterly ridiculous because you’ll cook/grill the chicken and that will kill all the bacteria leaving this to be a rather pointless action. But what’s far worse; it’s dangerous. You can cross-contaminate kitchen surfaces and other kitchen items (splashing water) this way, and that can cause real damage, especially to little children who are already far more vulnerable than adults.

I always use colored cutting plates for fish, chicken and meat that are dish-washer safe. My chicken plate is yellow. Also great for kitchen noobs, since the plates have little meat, chicken, fish and vegetable icons on them.

Lightly grease an oven dish. Forget about real butter, you just don’t want to waste that on something as trivial as greasing an oven dish. Over here in the Netherlands we have liquid margarine, I swear by it. But regular margarine or a drop of olive oil will be fine as well. Unless you’re determined to use real butter, then don’t let me stop you. (glares)

The bacon! Place about 2oz (50gr) on the bottom of your oven dish. You won’t really taste the bacon once the dish is cooked, but it gives just enough saltiness and flavor to miss it when it’s not there.

Ham and cheese were simply meant for each other. As always, I use an aged Gouda cheese, just grab whatever cheese you like. If your cheese requires slicing, you know the drill, right? Let someone else do it and pretend you’re making photo’s. This works for a multitude of things.

Put the cheese on top of the ham, and place a chicken strip on top. Use a fork to handle the chicken and make sure it doesn’t touch your cutting board or whatever surface you’re working on. Make 8 rolls and put them on top of the bacon.

Cream of mushroom soup. I’m using a large can, but I know from experience -before those bad, bad evil-doers took it off the Dutch market- that one of my cans equals 2 cans of Campbell’s. I think this dish will be fabulous (dahling <- always wanted to say that) with cream of chicken soup as well, probably even better!

Add 3 tbsp sour cream to the soup. This will give the sauce a little creaminess and zing. It will make it creamier but without making it heavy and greasy.

Don’t forget the pepper. Never forget the pepper! I almost did actually, which is why I have to whisk twice now. If my head wasn’t firmly attached to my shoulders, I don’t know what would happen.

Ladle about 2/3 of the soup mixture over the chicken rolls. Make sure to also get some in between the rolls. See that drop on the side of the bowl? Whenever I see something like that, I have this uncontrollable urge to run my finger along it and lick it off. Pathetic, I know, and not always a smart thing to do. Trust me, I learned that the hard way.

Layer the potato slices on top of the rolls and divide the rest of the soup mix over them.

While we’re at it, we might as well go all the way, right? Finish with 1/2 cup of grated cheese. You should see me take these photo’s. Gently shaking the measuring cup with my left hand while trying to capture the action with my right hand. It’s bound to look hilarious. I never use a tripod – I don’t want all the photo’s to look the same and constantly shoot from the same angle/height. Good thing I’m blessed with a steady hand.

You can pop it in a hot oven for 45 minutes now (until the top is golden brown and the rest is bubbly hot) but you can also cover the dish with foil and put it in your fridge.

After 45 minutes, this is what mine looked like. Comfort food with a capital C.

Ok, one more for the road. See the thick, creamy and bubbly sauce on the left? It’s right there, you can’t miss it, there’s lots of it. It’s really that good. This food is just sinful, I swear.


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    24 Comments »

    1. 1

      I was born in NL and now live in the states. Nice website. I still love Gouda and my 4 boys do too, I think it’s in our veins!
      I love your photos. (found you on PW)

      Hannah on Sep 11, 2008 @ 12:10 am Reply
    2. 2

      By the way, these guys are stealing your content: http://diet-fitness-health-weightloss.blogspot.com/2008/09/chicken-rice-casserole.html

      The only way to have it removed is to file a DMCA complaint with Google. Just search for DMCA Google in Google and you’ll find the link to the instructions. It will take them about 30 days to do anything.

      Elise on Sep 12, 2008 @ 3:53 am Reply
    3. 3

      Elise, your comment ended up in the spam filter, so just now saw it! When I follow the link it says the blog doesn’t exist?

      Kay on Sep 13, 2008 @ 1:08 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Rich, tasty and easy! Yesterday night I prepared your casserole and it was delicious! And comfortable food couldn’t describe it better… yummy!

      Luciana on Sep 17, 2008 @ 9:57 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Ik denk dat dit wel m’n favoriet is van de site om ‘s te gaan proberen. :)

      Claudia on Oct 2, 2008 @ 9:12 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Jij gaat hem lekker vinden, dat weet ik nu al :)

      Kay on Oct 2, 2008 @ 9:14 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Popped over from Pioneer womans site. This recipe looks great!

      nicole on Nov 17, 2008 @ 6:19 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Hi chickie!!! I too popped over from the Pioneer woman…and made this tonight! Definite keeper!!! Everyone loved it…except for the one dd who refuses to eat any food that is mixed together….don’t ask she’s crazy!!!

      Renee on Nov 18, 2008 @ 12:36 am Reply
    9. 9

      I also popped over from the Pioneer Woman and this one looks great.

      Stacey on Jan 9, 2009 @ 6:14 pm Reply
    10. 10

      I also came over from PW Cooks. I made this last Saturday (used cream of chicken & swiss chesse) and it was great!

      Sarah on Feb 2, 2009 @ 1:57 pm Reply
    11. 11

      The most visually perfect site I have seen. Perfectly clean pictures with great recipes. Thank you

      low fat chicken recipes on Mar 1, 2009 @ 4:22 pm Reply
    12. 12

      I just tried this recipe yesterday and it was ridiculously good. My husband and kids loved it. I am 5 months pregnant and have been desperate for easy casserole recipes to cook. This is a serious keeper.

      Thanks a bunch

      ann on Jun 13, 2009 @ 10:40 pm Reply
    13. 13

      OMG, I made this for my family and they absolutely loved it. My husband wants me to make it with pork chops next time to see how that is. Thanks for the website, it’s great.
      Donna

      Donna on Aug 25, 2009 @ 7:10 pm Reply
    14. 14

      I almost didn’t print this recipe because you mention 50 ounces (3 POUNDS) of bacon under the picture! Then I read the printable recipe and saw it was only 2 ounces LOL. Much better!
      You site is FANTASTIC! Best cooking site ever!

      marianne on Oct 17, 2009 @ 6:25 pm Reply
    15. 15

      @marianne:

      Big smile! Every now and then I’ll confuse the grams for ounces, I’m afraid :)

      Kay on Oct 17, 2009 @ 6:28 pm Reply
    16. 16

      This was delish!  I didn’t use any bacon but I ended up adding about 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese for the saltiness.  I also used low fat cream of mushroom soup.  So good!

      Tracy on Mar 10, 2011 @ 3:48 am Reply
    17. 17

      Hi from India! I love your recipes and website. Tried this excellent casserole tonight and it came out great. Keep posting your wonderful recipes. Cheers!

      Aayush on Mar 20, 2011 @ 5:56 pm Reply
    18. 18

      How do I print it?  I have tried and must be missing something.  thanks.

      Jan on Jun 17, 2011 @ 2:48 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Has anyone tried substituting the ham for turkey? I love bacon but I absolutely hate sliced ham, for some reason. 
       

      Lisa on Jul 7, 2011 @ 9:38 pm Reply
    20. 20

      I grew up eating a dish so similar to this. We called it Bama’s Chicken. It was Chicken breasts wrapped in bacon slices over a layer of shaved corned beef. The whole thing was baked in a sauce of sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. We served it with wild rice and roasted asparagus.
      So good! I stopped making it years ago when it became hard to find an organic corned beef. I’ll be trying yours next week. Thanks!

      Cage Free Family on Jan 9, 2013 @ 10:22 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Can this recipe be put in a “printer friendly” post.  This is a bit too long to try to print and save in my recipe file.
       
      Thanks

      Ann on Jan 13, 2014 @ 9:47 pm Reply
    22. 22

      Made without potatos and put panko on top of cheese. Wonderful, the gouda is the way to go, sophisticated yet not as $ as guyere!
       

      Maggie Boone on Feb 7, 2014 @ 4:09 pm Reply
    23. 23

      this  recipe  only   says  to   put in oven 400 degrees, 
      for  45 minutes….  is that  enough  for Chicken  , ham, 
      and  bacon  to be   cooked  all the way  through ????? 

      kath hubert on Mar 8, 2014 @ 6:16 pm Reply
      1. 45 minute should be more than plenty for thin strips chicken breast!

        Kay on Mar 8, 2014 @ 6:34 pm Reply

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