Chicken Casserole

Recipe

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All righty, Grammie’s Chicken Casserole recipe looked pretty simple, I mean, five ingredients that I can make ahead before shoving it in the oven for an hour? I had high hopes for this one. I can see why casseroles were so stinkin’ popular.  Was this before the advent of the slow cooker?  Well, I did a little poking around, and according to Allison Speigel who wrote the nail-biting (just kidding, it’s very straightforward) article, “A Brief History of the Crock Pot, The Original Slow Cooker,” the Crock Pot, while invented in the 1930s, did not get wildly popular until it was bought by Rival Manufacturing in the early 1970s.  But before then, it’s totally understandable that dumping ingredients into a casserole dish and throwing it into the oven was the way to go for a busy housewife.

Grammie’s recipe was very specific about the brand and shape of the pasta which made me think that this might be a recipe from the company itself. I checked out the Creamette website and didn’t find one that matched Grammie’s recipe, though I’m sure the fine folks at Creamette have changed their recipes over the years.

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This recipe also didn’t say what kind of cooked chicken to use so I just chopped a couple of chicken breasts and fried them in a little bit of oil.  Maybe rotisserie chicken could have been used instead as a time saver. The Velveeta (SO reminds me of childhood!) was also a bit of a challenge.  I couldn’t for the life of me cube it.  Maybe because it was room temperature? Anyway, I ended up just pinching off bits and placing them evenly over the noodles.  I layered the ingredients in the order of Grammie’s recipe.  The clean up crew had to be called in after I got a little crazy with the mushroom soup/milk mix. She didn’t complain about the overtime though, so it all worked out.

Grammie

This is Grammie and Grampie, probably in the late 1950s.  I have a sneaking suspicion that my dad is the boy wearing the face mask on the left.  And look at that farmer’s tan on Grampie! Grammie looks so cute in her gingham bathing suit and that is the happiest smile I’ve seen in a photo of Grammie to date.  The family went on a quite a few vacations like camping (in a cabin), Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore, among other places. Grammie and Grampie often vacationed with her sisters and their families. Some of the vacation photos are labelled with locations and it would so much fun to recreate some of them one day!

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Final Product

If this tastes like it looks, it’s going to be Horrible.

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Looks kind of pretty plated up but…

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VERDICT: Horrible

Too salty, not enough flavor, looks like cat vomit.

Of course, the Hubs loved it.

It’s definitely a creamy dish, not super flavorful but it perked up a little bit after sprinkling some smoked paprika on top.  Some of the noodles were more al dente than others but overall not a bad make ahead dish for a busy mom, I mean, I’m never making this again, but I’m sure it would work for other people. I’m glad I cooked my own chicken as the Velveeta and mushroom soup gave this plenty of sodium and the plainness of the chicken balanced that out a bit, or at least tried to. If this is ever made again (never going to happen), maybe use low sodium mushroom soup instead? The Chicken Casserole needs an additional oomph in the flavor department, the smoked paprika helped but maybe it needs to be incorporated into the preparation, or another ingredient should be thrown in there.  Maybe a dash of chipotle hot sauce? I don’t know, it needs something though. The 12 year old thinks it’s edible but not great.

Thanks for visiting!

 

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