Monday, July 04, 2005

Curried Chicken Casserole

I was reading at St. Casserole's place about her Presbyterian lunch. The casserole sounds great. I use a spinach, rice and chicken casserole as my standard, as well.

Curried Chicken and Spinach.

3 to 4 cups Cooked Chicken, cubed
1 can cream of something soup (I've used Celery, Chicken, Mushroom and Asparagus. Any flavor works.)
1 1/2 cup Mayo
2 packages frozen Spinach
2 cups Minute rice with 2 cups water and salt or 2 cups of cooked white rice
2 cups Cheddar Cheese
Curry powder

In large baking dish (I use a 3 quart Cornflower Blue Pyrex covered casserole) layer the rice (if using Minute rice, mix salt, water and rice) then the strained defrosted spinach (or if using fresh spinach, wilt briefly in a pan on the stove). In another bowl mix together the can of soup, mayo, salt and pepper and curry powder to taste (I have been known to use a lot of curry -- I like it a little hot.) Fold into this mixture the cubed chicken. Layer the chicken mixture on top of the spinach. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. For the last few minutes, layer the cheese on top of the chicken -- until cheese is melted. If traveling somewhere, I usually do the cheese thing at the last minute. When removing from the oven, sprinkle with paprika. The layers are better when done with integrity and are relatively thin. I usually serve this with a fruit salad -- and could be served with a chutney (sweet mango works well).

I have varied this recipe wildly -- canned spinach does not work. The sauce is good if you start with a white sauce with some chicken broth, no mayo and add in some cheese and sherry. I've done it with very little curry, ham and swiss cheese.

Any other classic chicken casseroles out there?

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