Five years ago next month, I married a Southerner. While I was born in Alabama, we only lived there for two years before moving to Missouri. Having lived my life in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago I consider myself 100% Midwestern. And I’m cool with that. But one of the many joys of being married to a Southern man is the food. Oh, the food! The first meal I ate in Mississippi had this dish on the table. It was sooooo yummy! And it was touted as being very easy to make. Lucky for me, it was. You just throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl! You could prepare the chicken the day before using some rosemary, garlic and Lauren’s Crock Pot Beer Can Chicken. Or you could use canned chicken, frozen chicken, or pre-cooked chicken.
The thing I love about it is that you really can’t mess it up. If you want it meatier, add 4-5 cups of chicken- no problem! If you want to double it and make a big thick casserole, go for it! I often double it and put one in the freezer (holding off on the crackers/butter until I bake it). You want to use reduced fat sour cream- it’s still good! Creamier? Double the sour cream. Good! Once I even put a layer of Gouda under the crackers- AMAZING! My sister-in-law has a version without canned soup (she uses real cream and mushrooms!) I’m excited to try. Recently, I’ve started serving it with rice. The Midwesterner in me likes plain, brown rice, but I’ve enjoyed it with wild rice, too.
Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole
3 cups chopped cooked chicken, pulled
1 8 oz. container sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup chicken broth (optional)
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tbsp. black pepper (or less- your taste!)
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 ½ cups crushed Ritz crackers (1 sleeve)
1 stick butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chicken, sour cream, soup, chicken broth, garlic salt, black pepper and poppy seeds in a large bowl. Toss lightly to mix. (The spices make this recipe….taste before baking.) Spoon chicken mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Mix crushed cracker crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly. Can be prepared a day in advance and cooked before serving.
Of course, it tastes so good that we devoured it (twice) before I remembered to take a picture of the finished product. 🙂
What variations would you like you’d like to try?