Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hot Chicken Salad Casserole

A classic potluck dish, this casserole uses the same basic elements as chicken salad, but it is baked and just delicious! I like to include the chopped boiled eggs, but those can be omitted if you prefer. Always a favorite!

Hot Chicken Salad Casserole

Called Hot Chicken Salad because it contains many of the typical elements of a cold chicken salad, but it's baked in a casserole form. Probably one of the Original Church Lady Casserole Recipes from way back, and published in most every southern community cookbook, it still finds its way not only at church socials, but reunions, potlucks, as a funeral dish, or at any number of other gatherings.
 
As always, ingredients do vary a bit among us Southern cooks with this dish, and some folks exclude the boiled eggs, though I think that they are fitting and taste good, so I do use them.  You can also use a wide variety of toppings, including some additional shredded cheese, alone or with some soft or panko bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or even potato chips which were the most traditional.

Some do add the toppings at the beginning of the cooking process. I personally prefer to heat the casserole through first before applying the toppings and then return it to the oven for the topping to lightly brown. Either way works fine.

Remember, the next time that you pick up a rotisserie chicken from the deli, grab two, or the next time that you roast a chicken at home, go ahead and cook two. Set the second chicken aside to cool, and then put up the meat in 2 to 3 cup portions in your freezer. That's what I do!

This is one of those mix and dump casseroles too - simple and super easy!

In a bowl combine the mayonnaise and soup; blend well. Stir in the cheddar cheese, lemon pepper, thyme and rosemary. Add the chicken, eggs, celery, onion, green onion and almonds; mix. Pretty much looks like good ole chicken salad doesn't it?


Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt only as needed, then transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake 20 minutes until hot and bubbly and lightly browned.


Remove from oven, add topping, and bake an additional 5 minutes. You can also add additional cheese before topping with crushed crackers, potato chips or bread crumbs.


Recipe: Hot Chicken Salad Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: About 8 servings


Ingredients
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper
  • Pinch of dried thyme and rosemary, crushed 
  • 4 cups of diced cooked chicken
  • 4 eggs, boiled and chopped, optional
  • 1/2 cup of minced celery
  • 1/3 cup of finely minced onion
  • 1 green onion, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
  • Topping (below)
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. In a bowl combine the mayonnaise and soup; blend well. Stir in the cheddar cheese, lemon pepper, thyme and rosemary. Add the chicken, eggs, celery, onion, green onion and almonds; mix. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt only as needed, then transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven, add topping, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Can also add toppings at the beginning cooking time if desired.

Cook's Notes: Vary the casserole toppings by using additional shredded cheese on top, alone or with one of these toppings: 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs, dry bread crumbs, a sleeve of crushed saltines or Ritz crackers mixed with 1 to 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted, or simply slice cold butter thinly and scatter over the top; or add 1-1/2 cups of crushed plain or kettle style potato chips to the top, potato chips being the most traditional topping.

Variations: Reduced fat products okay to use but be aware that they are thinner. Include some finely chopped red or green bell pepper, or chopped pimentos for color, if desired. Substitute sour cream, Greek yogurt or a combination of the two, for part of the mayonnaise. Can also substitute a cup of sour cream for the cream soup if you like.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on March 5, 2011

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13 comments:

  1. Great idea and it looks super good - serious comfort food.

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  2. Nothing better than a good ol' Southern casserole! Yum!

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  3. Love this dish. My sister-in-law, who is a fabulous cook introduced my family to this recipe, only thing different in her recipe is that she uses water chestnuts instead of almonds.

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  4. I do like warm chicken salad and your recipe sounds very good. Blessings, Catherine

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  5. Really....thank you for sharing this recipe!! I have never heard of "Hot Chicken Salad Casserole". That may be because in our area of the western US, the big thing everyone makes is sometimes called 'funeral potatoes' and is served with ham at most every funeral meal put together by church ladies for the grieving family.

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  6. I have a somilar recipe, but it's called something different. But this is serious comfort food, and as always, you make it look fantastic Mary.

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  7. We definitely have the funeral potatoes down south too! :)

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  8. I have a similar casserole but uses Cream of Chicken and sour cream. DELICIOUS!

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  9. I made this last night and my husband & I both LOVED it! (I love it when I find a new recipe that my husband really likes.) I made half a recipe and we almost ate the whole thing! Will probably make the whole recipe next time so we have leftovers. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hey Holly! I'm so glad y'all enjoyed this classic & thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and let me know!

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  10. Made this last night and my husband (& I) LOVED it! (I love to find new recipes that my husband really likes.) I made half the recipe last night and we almost ate the whole thing - next time I'll have to make the whole recipe so we have leftovers! :-)

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