Alan’s Birthday Chicken Casserole

Alan’s Chicken Casserole is a dish I created for our roomies birthday a few years back.  He really likes chicken, broccoli and rice so why not make something special for him?

Casseroles are a Southern United States staple, especially for church suppers and such.  I took this to a bigger audience with the local meeting of the Presbytery of PCUSA under the banner of Charles Johnson Catering For Your Kneads.  I have worked with Chuck for over eight years and my creativity in the kitchen is growing.  His small company is based out of the kitchens of St. Philip Presbyterian in Houston, Texas.  Feeding the Presbytery was fun, by the way.

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I also shared with with Aunt Pearl of “Greater Tuna” and it was prepared in New York City to a wonderful reception by Joe Sears.

The picture attached to this is of Charles Johnson and some of our work together. This particular picture is the turkey for the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner provided for clients of Thomas Street Clinic in Houston.  That is a labor of love for me every year.

The Casserole:

2 Pounds Chicken Breasts
1 Can Crème of Mushroom Soup
1 Can Crème of Chicken Soup
2 cups Rice, cooked
1 Stick Butter
1 Pound Fresh Mushrooms (your choice) Chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 Stalks Celery, Diced
3 Carrots, Shredded
1 Onion diced
½ Pound Bacon (or more as desired) fried and minced
3 tablespoons Poultry Seasoning augmented with fresh oregano and sage to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put boneless skinless breasts in to boil in a stock pot with a bouquet of herbs including sage, pepper, thyme, and basil in lightly salted water. (Will make a nice chicken stock for soup or chicken and dumplings later on)
Gently melt the stick of butter while dicing the mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Sautee on low heat until tender and onion is translucent.

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Put the cans of crème of mushroom and chicken soup together separately and fold in the sautéed vegetables with the butter in them.

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Fry the bacon until crisp, add 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease to the soup mixture for extra flavor if desired. Add the minced bacon to the mix.

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When chicken is white in the stock pot and done to your liking, take it out, let it cool and shred either with two forks of in food processor (I prefer the food processor on a couple of pulses). Add to the soup mixture and then combine the 2 cups of cooked rice into the mixture.

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You’re almost ready to put it in the oven.
Add the cheese of your choice; I prefer Parmesan, Cheddar and Monterey Jack shredded. Add to mix and place in 350 oven for 45 minutes.

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If the mixture needs thinning down a bit, add just enough milk or heavy crème to it.
I also add crushed cracker crumbs on top or bread crumbs for extra taste sensations.

This casserole is quite tasty and can also be made as a dip with crackers or melba toast.  I really enjoy putting this one together.

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