Last weekend we enjoyed the generous hospitality of my husband’s parents, and as always, it was so good to get away and enjoy some good times together – parents, kids and grandparents. My mother-in-law Pauline, is a terrific cook and like my own mother, has taught me lots about hospitality, both specifically and by osmosis. On this recent visit she cooked this delicious, almost retro, chicken casserole for us and it was so tasty, warming and comforting after the car trip from our place to theirs. Our kids devoured it that night and again the next. It’s dead easy and it’s one of those dishes that could easily stretch to serve more by adding extra veggies, rice or bread to the offering. For all these reasons, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making it often. Depending where you buy your veggies from, this dish costs around $18 to make (less still if you use a green grocer), and easily serves 8.
- 1 BBQ chicken
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- ¼ cup water
- 3 rashers bacon, sliced
- 60g mushrooms, sliced
- 440g can of Cream of Chicken Soup (Campbell’s is nicest)
- 300g carton sour cream (I use homebrand light)
- Optional: 400g can corn kernels, drained (we love corn!)
CHEESE BATTER TOPPING
- 1 cup SR Flour
- 1 capsicum (can be half red, half green)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated cheese
- ½ cup milk
- Remove chicken meat from bones while chicken is still warm (much easier), and shred or chop meat roughly.
- Place chopped onion, shallots, celery and water in pan, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer covered for 15 mins (Pauline’s alternative tip: stick the lot in a covered microwave safe dish and zap for 2 mins).
- In a hot frypan, add bacon and sliced mushrooms and cook for 3 mins (again, Pauline suggests cooking the bacon and mushrooms in same covered microwave dish for about 2 mins)
- Combine the soup, sour cream, chicken, cooked vegetables, corn (if using) and bacon mixture. Pour into ovenproof dish.
- Make cheese batter: Mix flour, capsicum, lightly beaten eggs, cheese and milk until just blended.
- Spread cheese batter on top of casserole and bake uncovered in moderate oven for 30-40 mins. Serve with rice and salad.