Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grandma's Quick Chick Trick

I got this recipe from a fellow mom in our Mom's group a few years ago...and it's the easiest way I can think of to use up any leftover chicken. Sometimes I'll think ahead and poach extra chicken breasts, freeze them, and pull them back out when I want to make this dish.

You can use any kind of leftover chicken-- I've used rotisserie, smoked, and barbecued chicken. They all worked, but my kids will tell you they like plain poached chicken the best. If you have chicken thighs, they work well in this dish too.

The original recipe calls for the chicken to be browned in a pan, then cut into bite-sized pieces. I like poaching the chicken and shredding it by hand because the sauce clings better to pieces of chicken with irregular edges and without the crust that develops from searing the meat in a pan. I also have found David appreciates a little bit of onion (I used green onions from the garden), and a bit of herb flavor in the form of some fresh/dried thyme. Lastly, you can use buttery crackers, but saltines work fine, or even dried bread crumbs will do if you happen to be out of crackers.

Any way you decide to make this casserole, it's no trick to make, it's quick, and you'll definitely be making it again!

Grandma's Quick Chick Trick

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, or a combination
2 (14 ounces each) cans of low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream (I use the light variety)
1 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 tube buttery crackers, crushed
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried

In a medium-sized stockpot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the chicken and wait for the broth to come back up to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the chicken for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and when cool...

shred with your hands into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the sour cream and cream of chicken soup. You can do this on the stove top, but why dirty another pot, right? Microwave the mixture on low power (I used power level 3), until warm, but not hot. You just need to get it to a spreadable consistency.

Lightly spray an 8x11 casserole dish with cooking spray. (If you need to make a bigger casserole, use 6-7 chicken breasts, 2 cans of soup, 2 cups of sour cream, etc., and a 9x13 pan.) Spread the chicken pieces on the bottom...

sprinkle with the thyme and green onion...

and spread the sour cream-chicken soup mixture over the top.

Sprinkle the crushed crackers over all that, (I didn't have any Ritz, so I used wheat saltines)
and pour the butter evenly over the crackers. Yes, you could substitute margarine or even the butter spray stuff (I felt like using butter today).

Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to bubble. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Everyone chowed down on this one...except Christina (of course). Gabriel had seconds (me too!), and David had thirds. There was NONE leftover!

Well, there you have it...a simple casserole that everyone will love at your roost!

God bless your table tonight!

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