This is one of my absolute all time favourite chicken casseroles. Not only is is a great way to use up stale bread, but you can also use up leftover cooked chicken or even turkey, or you can cook chicken just to use in it. Its a recipe which I adapted from an Amish Cookery book many moons ago. You know how that goes. Eventually the recipe becomes your own and it is no different with this! Its now so much my own that it only vaguely resembles the original.
Apparently this is a very popular dish amongst the Amish. They supposedly serve it on all sorts of occasions and even for Christmas dinner! I am not surprised really. It is delicious. It is simple. It is very easy and quick to throw together!
The original recipe was very plain. It had no onion, or herbs. I like onion and I like herbs. I also love stuffing, so my adaptions included ways to make it taste more like stuffing.
The original also didn't include celery or any stock. It was basically just stewed chicken mixed with bread and a ton of butter, with some celery seed and seasoning. It was very good. (Think of a whole pound of butter. Yikes! No wonder it is considered tasty!)
My version is probably even more tasty and uses a lot less butter. And not only that, but the butter you do use is infused with the flavours of celery and onion so it really tastes better with less. Know what I mean?
Whatever . . . stale bread, butter softened celery and onion, a variety of herbs, seasoning and tender poached chicken mixed with a tiny bit of stock and baked to give you one very delicious and simple entree.
I like to make some gravy to spoon over top and serve it with some simple boiled baby potatoes and mixed vegetables for a complete and most delicious simple supper. The family will love this. I guarantee.
Serves 4 to 6
This is a fabulously tasty and easy bake. Just throw it together and pop it into the oven. I like to serve it with gravy, potatoes and vegetables on the side.
3 large chicken breast filets, poached in chicken stock and cooled
(Reserve the stock)
225g of butter (1/2 cup)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp each of dried parsley, crumbled sage, thyme and summer savory if you have it
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a large shallow casserole. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and celery and cook over medium low heat until softened. Stir in the salt, pepper, celery seed and herbs. Set aside.
Crumble the bread into a large bowl. Shred the chicken coarsely and add to the bread. Pour the butter mixture over all and toss together. Add only enough leftover stock so that your mixture is not totally dry. You don't want it soggy. Pile into the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with greased foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Delicious!
I do hope you will give this a go! Bon Appetit!
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