I just love casseroles. During the winter months there’s nothing better than having a casserole baking away in the oven. The smells, the hot and bubbly goodness and the combination of flavors is simply comfort food heaven. And, if you know me, you know I also love chicken. So what can be better than a chicken casserole? Well, there is one thing and that’s a chicken casserole topped with fried onions – yummo!
I really do try to balance what I eat and so I’ll warn you up front this recipe has the potential to be an artery clogger. But I also know that the key to good living is moderation so every once in a while you can walk on the wild side with something like this. Plus this recipe is versatile, especially where adding vegetables is concerned. And making this is a good way to get come of those vegetables into your children – they are beautifully masked in the deliciousness of the casserole and fried onions.
So let’s talk chicken, carrot and fried onion casserole
Lesson Learned 1: I used carrots but you can be creative where the vegetables in this recipe are concerned: My husband prefers eating carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash and cauliflower – that’s why you’ll see me using a lot of them in my recipes. But you can use a variety of vegetables.
I chose fresh baby carrots and chopped them into 1/4 inch coins. You can add them to this recipe as is, but I chose to saute mine in butter before adding them to the other ingredients as my husband likes his carrots soft. The cooking time for this recipe will not achieve soft carrots (they will be crisp tender) so I had to give the carrots a head start. But if you like your carrots crisp tender just add them to the other ingredients and skip the sauteing part. The key is cutting them small enough so they’re not rock hard when the casserole is done baking.
You can also use frozen vegetables. Using frozen carrots or frozen mixed vegetables would work very well with this recipe in the allotted cook time. So do what your family loves or what you want your family to eat.
Lesson Learned 2: This is a great recipe for using precooked chicken: Whether you’re trying to think about how to use some of your leftover cooked chicken, or buying a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, using precooked chicken makes this recipe a breeze. My grocery store actually sells portions of precooked white meat chicken and I used that a lot in my recipes. You can either cut up the chicken into bite size pieces or shred it like I did. Either way will work.
For a quick and delicious week night meal you can’t beat this recipe. You can even assemble it the night before or before going to work and pop it in the oven when you get home. If you do that, I would recommend taking the casserole out of the refrigerator asap and letting it sit on the counter for about a half an hour before putting it into the oven. That will remove some of the chill. You’ll have a better chance of cooking the casserole in the allotted time if it’s not ice cold when you put it in the oven.
Enjoy this one. It’s a keeper!
Chicken Carrot And Fried Onion Casserole...
4 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 cups sliced carrots (cut into 1/4 inch coins)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-6oz. can of french fried onions
1 Tbs. butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 (365 high altitude)
In a large skillet melt the butter and saute the carrots for about 10 minutes, flipping them at regular intervals. Remove them from heat and set aside.
While the carrots are sauteing, mix together in a large bowl the cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. Once the carrots are cooked and slightly cooled fold them into the sour cream mixture along with the chicken until combined. Taste and add any salt and pepper as needed.
Spray a 9 inch square pan with cooking spray. Add the mixture to the pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. Once the casserole is hot and bubbly add the fried onions on top and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes and serve.