First off, sorry there was no time for Chick Chat Friday. It’s been a very busy week for this chicklet. I went to work with the Trim Man every day to help him build bottle racks for a wine “cellar.” I forgot to take pics, but will and post about it another day. It was an interesting week to say the least.
I was too exhausted to cook this past week (not enough coffee to keep me running), but I did manage to whip up a few meals the previous and this is one of them. My youngest son, Dr. Drums, says this is his most favorite food in the whole world. That surely says something considering he’s the pickiest kid on earth. When he was little he wouldn’t eat anything that resembled mashed potatoes, oatmeal, apple sauce–let’s just say anything smooth, creamy, and white or off-white. The only exception was ice-cream, but he’d immediately throw it up when he was done. :- Don’t even ask me why; I haven’t a clue. This is the kid we used to have to build a wall of cereal boxes around at the dinner table so he couldn’t see the rest of us eating. He’d gag and dash for the bathroom at every meal and I worried he’d never survive the school cafeteria when he started 1st grade. To this day I wonder if he refuses to look up from his own food while his friends are eating lunch. ~_~
My Grandma Betty was the best cook in the world; she learned from the best, my great grandma Dorothy and Dorothy’s 4 sisters. I don’t know if grandma followed a recipe for her chicken casserole–I rather doubt it since I don’t recall her ever having a full set of measuring cups. (I’m sure any one of her umpteen grandkids or great grandkids used them in the backyard to make fancy mud pies, with her rose petals for garnishments, and they’re still buried behind the old concrete barbeque fireplace.) *insert 2 solid hours of looking for a picture of this old fireplace with kids making culinary masterpieces out of mud*
My mom made this casserole so often in the beginning of her marriage to my step-dad that he finally refused to eat what he called “chicken soufflé” for the rest of his life. Thank heavens the Trim Man will eat anything I cook and he happens to love casseroles best.
1 whole chicken
2 to 4 – 12 oz. bags Reames Egg Noodles (freezer section) (I usually use 4 to feed my crew, but you can get by with 2 with all other ingredients the same quantities as listed.)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 sticks Butter + some to butter the baking dish
1-1/2 lbs. Velveeta
1/2 loaf of white bread cut into cubes or 2 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
11 x 15 baking dish (or anything you have larger than 9 x 13)
Start with a whole chicken, remove and discard the packet of innards, and place in a stockpot. Cover with water and liberally salt the heck out of it. Put a lid on it, slightly tilted for excess steam to escape, and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 45-60 minutes, or until a leg falls off just by looking at it. (Seriously, when forked the meat should look and feel very tender.) Remove from the chicken broth and set aside to cool before attempting to pull the meat from the bones. Meanwhile…
Bring the broth back up to boiling then add the bags of noodles. Cook until tender–maybe 20 minutes? Heck, I don’t time things, I just keep checking to see when a noodle cuts easily against the inside of the pot. While the noodles are cooking, cut 1 (ONE) stick of butter into pieces and the Velveeta into cubes and set aside.
When the noodles are done, drain well and put them back in the empty pot. Dump the butter, Velveeta, and both cans of cream of mushroom soup on top along with what you think is a good amount of salt and pepper, put the lid on tight and let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the cheese to melt. Cut the pulled chicken into small pieces, dump in, stir all together, and then pour into prepared baking dish. Cover with bread cubes or cracker crumbs and dot with butter using the other stick. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and the crumbs are lightly browned. Serve with anything you think would go good with it!