Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicken Casserole

This is a simple meal that can be prepared ahead for an easy dinner. I add the crackers and butter just before baking, BUT I'm sure it would be fine to add them before covering and placing in fridge for several hours.

2 cups chicken, *cooked and shredded or cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups broccoli florets (I often use cauliflower, and or sweet red peppers as well, just 2 cups total)
3x 10 ounce cans cream of chicken soup or a combination (cream of mushroom)
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
2 cups old cheddar cheese, shredded
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine the cooked chicken, broccoli, soup and mayonnaise in a 13×9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of mixture.  Combine crushed crackers and melted butter.  Spread on top of shredded cheese.  

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  
Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking.
This recipe is so easy to double if you’re making it for a large group (or if you want leftovers!).
*I like to rub the raw chicken breasts with Memphis rub (recipe below) and then pan saute in a non stick fry-pan then cover and leave to slowly steam. Cool then shred or dice. This rub and final cooked product can be used in many other dishes that require cooked chicken.


Memphis Rub

In jar or container combine the following spices:

2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons kosher salt (less than half if using table salt, which I DON'T recommend)
3 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Instructions: Use enough to coat chicken pieces...saving the rest for another time

Caramelized Onion Dip

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chopped yellow onions
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 Heat olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed deep pot (I used a 5-quart Dutch oven) on medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent and starting to color, about 10 minutes. If at any point during the cooking of the onions they start to dry out, add a tablespoon of water to the pot. 
Stir in the brown sugar, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat and cook gently, uncovered, for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nicely caramelized. Then set aside. 
(You can caramelize the onions up to 2 days ahead and chill until you make the dip.) 
Let cool a bit before adding to the other ingredients.

2 In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream and mayonnaise (a rubber spatula works well for this). Stir in the caramelized onions. Sprinkle with garlic salt and stir to incorporate. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
Chill until ready to serve. Serve with potato chips.

Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups of dip.