One of my favorite things to do as a teenager was to spend a week with my Grandma and Grandpa Jacobs in the summer. I guess this might seem odd to some teenagers, but it was far from odd for me. I remember Grandma asking me each day what I wanted to do and suggesting different things like shopping or going to see a movie. She always thought there was no way I could be happy just sitting around the house with her and Grandpa all day. She was wrong. It was, and still is, a place of love, warmth, and happy memories. We’d play card games and chat. Grandpa and I would put puzzles together and joke around. She’d bake my favorite desserts and cook my favorite meals. Although my favorite part of these visits were the chats we’d have (I remember one in particular with my sister, sister-in-law, and a couple of my female cousins where we were up quite late into the night laughing over something silly one moment and talking about something very serious the next), the point of this post is the food.
My Grandma Jacobs is one of the best cooks I know. Everyone in the family has their favorite food and she seems to remember them all and she is sure to make them for us when we visit. For my sister and my dad, it’s always been chicken and dumplings, some of my cousins enjoy her fried chicken the most, while some others would do just about anything for some of her famous fudge. For years, my favorite meal of hers has been chicken casserole. I’m not sure where this recipe originated, but I’ll always think of it as Grandma’s chicken casserole. Since moving to England I’m not able to visit as often as I’d like, but we still talk on the phone regularly. When I do visit, she still makes chicken casserole and corn for me. Ever since I moved she’s tried to tell me how easy it is to make so I can make it myself and I won’t have to wait so long to have it again. I hate to cook so I never bothered to take her advice and try it until recently. Turns out she was right. This is probably the easiest dinner I’ve made and by far the tastiest. My husband says of all the meals I’ve made, this is his favorite. After persuading him to try a bite, even my extremely picky two year old son enjoys this. If I can make it successfully, I’m convinced anyone can!
- 2 boxes of Stove Top chicken stuffing
- 2 cans Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken soup
- 5-10 ounces of water
- 3 lbs. of chicken
Preheat your oven to 350°. The next thing you’re going to have to do is cook the chicken. I use a crock pot for this. If you’re using a crock pot, put the defrosted chicken in the crock pot, cover it with water, and cook on high for 4 hours. I usually like to use chicken on the bone and then debone it when it’s done. You can do it that way or you can use boneless chicken breasts. I like the mix of dark and white meat which is why I usually use chicken on the bone, but when I made it this time I used a mix of both because it’s what I had available and that worked really well, too. It really just depends on which part of the chicken you prefer.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove the skin and debone it, tear it into small pieces, and place the pieces in a layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
The next layer is going to be the soup/water layer. Empty the two cans of soup into a bowl and then fill one of the empty cans about halfway with water and mix with the soup. The amount of water you use depends on how soupy you want the mixture to be. The original recipe calls for two cans of water or gruel from cooked chicken, but I found that using that much made the casserole far too soupy. Just over half a can works perfectly for me. Once that’s mixed together, pour it evenly over the chicken.
Now you need to make the final layer, which is the stuffing. Prepare the stuffing according to the directions on the box and once it’s done spread it evenly on top of the chicken mixture.
Bake the casserole at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes until the stuffing starts to brown slightly and the soup mixture starts bubbling through the stuffing.
Serve and enjoy! We usually enjoy ours with mashed potatoes and corn, but it’s excellent on its own, too. As someone who is not very fond of leftovers, I have to say that usually this is even better on the second day, just stick it back in the oven long enough to warm it up.
Why not make it a family theme night and make some of Mom’s Peanut Butter Fudge for dessert? 🙂