Tag Archives: #creamy

Poppyseed Chicken Casserole

This recipe is impossible to eat in small quantities. Trusty Sidekick and I made it one time and I thought, “Awesome! We can eat it for dinner tonight and then have some for lunch tomorrow too. Good thinking Catherine, save yourself some time.”

OM NOM NOM NOM.

We ate the whole thing. An entire casserole. Two people. It really happened.

But I am not ashamed. Judge me if you will, but once you take a bite of this stuff, you will understand so well and feel really bad for judging me and my gluttony. I will say it is totally possible to double up and make two casseroles with hardly any more effort than making one. This way you could just refrigerate the other until the next day when you remember how happy your tummy was and get the craving for more. Trusty Sidekick also just saw me writing this post and wouldn’t stop bothering me until I promised to make this again in the next few days. THE CRAVING.

Anyway, this is one of Trusty Sidekick’s mom’s recipes. He requested I make it about a year ago and she sent along the recipe to me. I can’t count how many times I have made it since. It really is wonderful and doesn’t leave you sitting on the couch afterwards wondering what you did to yourself or what could have possessed you to eat so much food. You just kind of sit back, close your eyes, and pray for a belly rub because you literally are so content with your life. You also will not be hungry for approximately 12 hours.

Keeping this in mind, this dish is perfect to make on a sad rainy day, after a bad test, or to have waiting for you when you come back from your horrible job. It makes everything better. I know you are doubting me. Stop it. And go make this. It is almost impossible to screw up unless you can’t cook rice, or can’t cook chicken. I know it looks like there a lot of steps, but most of it occurs simultaneously so don’t feel like it is daunting.

In case you can’t tell, I’m probably more excited about this recipe than any normal human (who hasn’t eaten Poppyseed Chicken) should be. Partly because this will be my first time actually writing this down. It has been saved as a note on my phone ever since I got it from Trusty Sidekick’s mom. Also, let that be a clue as to how simple it is. I made it from a note on my phone. Admittedly, part of that was that I am too lazy to actually write it out…but whatever.

This is also one of those recipes that can add up if you don’t have some of the basic ingredients on hand that you will use in small amounts. Don’t let this discourage you. Once you make this one time, it will be much cheaper the next time you make it. Poppyseeds are also kind of expensive (I was really surprised when I saw that it was about $4.00 per bottle) and so if you don’t want to spring for them, rest assured the recipe turns out just fine. Which sounds weird since the dish is called Poppyseed Chicken. Just let it happen guys. Trusty Sidekick also points out that they get stuck in your teeth, but do look pretty. So keep that it mind.

So, the price breakdown.

  • 1 lb. chicken: somewhere around $3.00
  • 2 sticks butter: $1.50-ish (margarine is also fine and will be cheaper and healthier)
  • Ritz crackers: $2.50 for a box (you only use a sleeve)
  • 1 C. rice: $0.50? We just buy a huge bag so it may be even cheaper than that.
  • Chicken boullion cube: $0.20 This is one of those things where you buy a jar for $2.00 with 10 cubes inside.
  • Can of cream of chicken soup: $1.00 (on average)
  • 8 oz. sour cream: $1.00
  • Poppyseeds: $.50 (about what you use from the jar)

Total:$9.20

Ingredients:

The ingredients. We didn’t have any butter, so I just used margarine.
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz. fat-free sour cream
  • 2 sticks butter (or 1 1/2)
  • 1 chicken boullion cube
  • 1 sleeve ritz crackers
  • 1 1/2 tsp. poppyseeds
  • 1 C. rice (makes 2 C. cooked)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a casserole dish. The dish can either be a 9×12 nonstick pan or a glass casserole dish of about the same size. I use a 8×8 glass casserole dish. This just means that the dish is more full than if I had used a larger pan.

2.Start cooking the chicken in a nonstick pan. This is the longest step so just put them in on medium heat and flip them when they are halfway done after about 10 minutes. Do other stuff in the meantime. When it is cooked take it out of the pan to cool and shred it with your hands to make bite-sized strips. It is also ok if they are slightly pink, they will get fully baked in the oven.

Chicken and rice going together. Look at that multi-tasking.

3. Start making the rice. Boil 2 C. of water in a saucepan with the chicken boullion cube. Add 1 C. rice and re-cover until cooked, about 10 min. Make sure the heat is not up past medium or the rice boils over and makes a huge mess. When rice is done, place it in the bottom of your dish to make the bottom layer of the casserole.

The finished rice.

4. In a large bowl, mix together the soup, fat-free sour cream, 1 stick of butter (softened), and poppyseeds (if using) until it is well blended. When the chicken is done and shredded, add it to this mixture. Add this on top of the rice for the next layer.

Appetizing.


5. Mash up 1 sleeve of crackers while still in the sleeve (this is the least messy way). Put into a bowl with the other stick of softened butter. I tend to use more like a 1/2 stick and the same effect is achieved. And less fat, which is a bonus.

6. Sprinkle the crackers and butter on top of the casserole evenly.

7. Put the casserole in the oven for 20-30 mins. Keep an eye on it for the last few minutes and when it starts bubbling and the crackers look toasted, it’s done!

Nice brown crackers, super creamy chicken mix underneath. If this is wrong I don’t want to be right.

8. Take it out and just separate it into two big bowls. Don’t try and fool yourself into thinking you will just “have a normal portion”. Ha. You are funny.
Hope you enjoy this recipe! Comments and questions always welcome 🙂

Loaded Potato Soup

I made a huge mistake.

See, this recipe (from the wonderfully organized Framed Cooks) is insanely delicious, I made it once over the summer and Trusty Sidekick made it all by himself once too. So you know it is easy and good if he will put in the effort to do that. Seriously, Samwise would be proud to give this to Frodo and we all know how Sam feels about po-tat-oes.

Look at this. Don’t you want it in your mouth/stomach right now?

But, I did something horrible. I messed with it. I needed to make it again for this post, and because I wanted to add to the loaded potatoey goodness, I messed with it. Why? Well I actually had wholly innocent and well-meaning reasons.

The Trusty Sidekick’s mom is a great cook and so when we told her that Loaded Potato Soup was on the menu she was super nice and sent me her recipe so I could take a look and see how it compared to the one I already used. It was a bit more complicated but looked really good, so I decided to blend the two a bit and thought “Hey, it can’t hurt to tweak it a bit.”

WRONG.

Now sometimes this turns out fine, especially once I know how the original works and can get a feel for what will change. So don’t think you can’t go tweaking recipes. But in this one, isolated, incident it wasn’t so.

The soup tasted kind of watery and bland, no sense of the loadedness that it had the first times the original recipe was used. Please keep in mind, this was not the other recipe’s fault. I simply did not calculate out everything well enough when blending them. My bad. This was mostly due to my decision to go with adding about 3 more taters than I normally did. Guys, don’t do that. And then I just used some more milk to “compensate”. Don’t do that either. The recipe I will be giving you is the one we first used and has a wonderful ration of chunky potato to creamy soup so I highly recommend just sticking with it.

The two points in her recipe that I did like and will keep for you guys are putting the potatoes in raw (as opposed to baking them beforehand) and adding in some garlic powder at the beginning. The first change just streamlines the cooking more, and I felt that the taters absorbed some of the creaminess this way too. And I like garlic, so the garlic powder is staying. But you don’t need it if you are vehemently opposed to it. I don’t know your life.

So class, let’s go over why this is so easy on your sad, limp, sorry excuses for wallets.

  • The main ingredient is potatoes. True story guys, we bought a 10 pound bag for $5. SO MANY TATERS.
  • The second main ingredient is milk, which you use 2 cups of. That comes to maybe a dollar depending on how much you spend on milk.
  • The cheeseyness amount is up to you, so you can ration out however much you want according to what you have in the fridge.
  • Buying a little bag of Bacon Bits is about $1.50 (when I got them at least), and we didn’t even use the whole bag. If you are an amazing ‘Merican then you already have some bacon in your fridge so that works too. It can just be a little more pricey.
  • Chicken broth can be bought for about $1 a can, and maybe cheaper if you get it on sale. I also like to get a box of it, which gives you more broth and is close to the same price.

So, after hearing my tale of butchered soup try it yourself!

By the way, the light in the Trusty Sidekick’s kitchen (where I cook everything) was starting to go out, so I apologize for the lack of high-quality photos. It seriously looked like a flickering light from a haunted house, so we just had to make do with the light over the stove.

A visual checklist, minus bacon. Whoops.

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes (Yukon Gold or Russet work well)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I buy a bag of frozen chopped onions and just throw a handful in for this, that way you don’t worry about keeping fresh onions around and no chopping!)
  • 1 1/4 C. chicken broth
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 C. milk (as much as I love skim, 1% or 2% are better for this recipe)
  • 1/4 C. Fat-free sour cream (Reduced-fat is ok too)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 bacon slices, crumbled or use however much bacon your little heart desires
  • about 1/3 C shredded cheddar cheese (I didn’t measure out the cheese really since we just used it for topping)

Directions

  1. Scrub potatoes and peel them. A veggie peeler works best in my humble opinion, but a good knife would work too if you don’t want to invest in one. If you are so inclined, you can prick the taters with a fork and throw them in the microwave for a few minutes to soften them up for cooking later on. This is not necessary though, and I have never done it.
  2. Dice potatoes into chunks. Your own preference determines the size, I do recommend having them a bit smaller than bite-sized.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat (if you have an electric stove, watch you pot carefully as those are crafty little guys when it comes to keeping a consistent heat).
  4. Add in the onion and sauté for 3 minutes then slowly add in the broth.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour with 1/2 C. of milk. Add it to the pan. Add the remaining 1 1/2 C milk. Bring pan to a boil and stir frequently. Milk can burn if you don’t watch it.

    Here is how it looked after adding in the milk and flour mixture with the remaining milk.
  6. Add in potatoes and reduce heat to a low-medium. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Don’t be afraid to taste-test the potatoes for done-ness. When they start getting mushy, you can get a little rough with them in the pan (they like that) to mush them into the soup a bit more.

    With the potatoes.
  7. Once taters are done, remove the pan from heat. Stir in the sour cream and let the soup sit for a minute.
  8. Get your toppings ready.
  9. Dish out the soup and get your tater on.

    The finished product, all garnished up with goodies.

*NOTE: If you want a less chunky soup, simply fully cook the potatoes in the microwave for about 13 minutes and put them in as the last step. You will need to mash them up before adding them though. Also, why don’t you like chunks of ‘tato? Weirdo.

Hope the recipe produces bowls of steamy creaminess for all y’all. Comments and questions are always appreciated!