Thursday, February 20, 2020

Poulet de France - Chicken and Dressing Casserole

This chicken and dressing casserole is an old school well loved dish in the South. It goes by many names - Poulet de France, Poulet de Normandy, Poulet Chicken or simply Poulet - made with cooked chicken, stuffing mix, milk sauce, topped with cream soup, and finished with cheese.
This chicken and dressing casserole is an old school well-loved dish in the South. It goes by many names - Poulet de France, Poulet de Normandy, Poulet Chicken or simply Poulet - made with cooked chicken, stuffing mix, milk sauce, topped with cream soup, and finished with cheese.

Poulet de France

I have mentioned here before that once upon a time I did the Once a Month Cooking (OAMC) system {affil link} where you spend one weekend essentially cooking meals to freeze for the month. I did it with a small upright refrigerator freezer too and I loved it. The internet was a different place back then and nothing like it is now, so everything occurred on bulletin boards and forums.

Anybody else remember when AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe were the top three ways to the internet and you could only access them with a dial up connection, meaning that you had to tie up your home phone line? There was no such thing as a smartphone in those days. Boy oh boy am I datin' muhself there. It really is funny to think back now to how the internet and technology has changed so much over the years - more slowly back then, but at lightning speed these days. You barely buy a new device these days before the next generation is already out!

Anyway, these days there are OAMC sites everywhere, but the Queens who set the pace for this movement were Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg, who thankfully for us followers, published a cookbook in 1986, to save us some printer ink. The cookbook I have is long out of print, but there was an update to it eventually, though even that one {affil link} has a few years on it already too. I don't even know if this recipe, then called Poulet de France, has survived through the revisions and updates over the years, but it was an original part of the "Entree Plan" back in 1986.

This recipe has definitely made the rounds, appearing in many local community cookbooks and rural magazines over the years, even finding its way to a few southern restaurants. Somehow along the way it adopted the name Poulet de Normandy, which is odd because it is nothing like the dish known as Chicken Normandy. Worse yet, it's now often just called Chicken Poulet, which irritates the devil out of some people, because quite literally that translates as Chicken Chicken resulting in some folks just calling it Poulet. I'm sure that the French must surely get a good chuckle over all of this. Honestly, it's just a variation of a Chicken and Dressing, Nonetheless, it's still a favorite of mine and it's a perfect church supper, potluck and funeral food casserole.

I used some chicken I had made and put up in the freezer from my Ready Chicken recipe, here on the website. You can substitute a rotisserie chicken, or even canned chicken but remember to be mindful of the sodium in those. I used a Temptations casserole dish and the ceramic really browns up those edges. The corner pieces are my favorite for that very reason!

You may be tempted to want to add salt. Don't. There is plenty of sodium present in the seasoned stuffing as well as the cream soup, and if you happen to use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the deli, those are plenty salty already.

Here's how to make Poulet de France Chicken and Dressing Casserole. As always, the full recipe text with measurements and instructions, along with a printable document are a little further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step by step pictures.

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan; set aside. Place stuffing mix in a large bowl and toss with sage or Bell's and poultry seasoning. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet until lightly browned; add onion and celery and saute until tender, add to stuffing and toss. Heat chicken broth and butter together, pour over stuffing mix and toss. Let rest for 5 minutes.


Add mayo, toss to coat and add chicken. Transfer mixture to buttered casserole dish. Whisk together the milk and eggs and pour evenly on top; do not stir. Dollop cream soup on top and gently spread over the top. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.


Uncover casserole and let come to room temperature about 30 minutes, then preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes, top with shredded cheese and return to oven for another 5 minutes.


 To cut into squares, let rest about 10 minutes.


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Recipe: Poulet de France - Chicken and Dressing Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep/Inactive time: 8 hours 
Cook time: 50 min

Total time: 8 hours 50 min
Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet or yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 (12 ounce) package herb seasoned bread stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage, Bell's seasoning {affil link} or homemade copycat, optional
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 2-1/2 cups cooked shredded or chopped chicken
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can original (Great for Cooking version) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
Instructions

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan; set aside. Place stuffing mix in a large bowl and toss with sage or Bell's and poultry seasoning.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet until lightly browned; add onion and celery and saute until tender, add to stuffing and toss. Heat chicken broth and butter together, pour over stuffing mix and toss. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add mayo, toss to coat and add chicken. Transfer mixture to buttered casserole dish. Whisk together the milk and eggs and pour evenly on top; do not stir. Dollop cream soup on top and gently spread over the top. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Let casserole come to room temperature about 30 minutes, then preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes, top with shredded cheese and return to oven for another 5 minutes. To cut into squares, let rest about 10 minutes.

Cook's Notes: May be made into two smaller casseroles. Freezes well. If you don't allow the casserole dish to come to room temperature before baking, it will take much longer to come up to temperature and often results in an overcooked and dry casserole. Cornbread stuffing mix may be substituted.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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