Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28, 2011: Chicken Casserole Recipe

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This is an easy, simple, tasty casserole for those nights when you aren’t feel particularly creative about dinner (which I’ve been experiencing a lot lately); just add a fresh green salad and maybe some crusty bread and voila! You can easily double this recipe and have enough to feed a family of four or five (use a 13 x 9 inch pan). And because it still tastes good even when it’s not hot, it makes a great dish to contribute to a potluck meal.

I first found this recipe in an issue of American Profile and the recipe is attributed to Elaine Arnold. As usual, I’ve done just a wee bit of tweaking and here’s my version.

Chicken Casserole

2 large chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
2 small stalks celery, finely chopped (optional)
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 2-ounce jar pimientos
2 T. minced onion (can use dehydrated)
½ to ¾ cup light mayonnaise (depends on how much chicken you have)
2 T. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
French fried onions (the kind in a can)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium-sized casserole dish or 8 x 8 inch square pan.

Combine all ingredients (through salt and pepper) and mix well. Start with half a cup of mayonnaise and add more if necessary (too much mayo makes this casserole taste very greasy). Place the mixture into the prepared pan; top with French fried onions and shredded cheese. Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Tip: Feel free to add/substitute other vegetables. For instance, I’ve used diced red bell pepper in place of the pimientos before and mushrooms instead of celery. You could also add mandarin orange slices and bean sprouts to make it more “Chinese”. My husband doesn’t like nuts so I omit the almonds; it would also taste good if you substituted pecans or cashews for the almonds. Experiment with the ingredients your family likes best.

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