Million Dollar Chicken Casserole

Introduction:

Delight your taste buds with the ultimate comfort food indulgence – Million Dollar Chicken Casserole. This iconic dish, known for its rich and creamy flavors, has been a favorite among home cooks for generations. With layers of tender chicken, hearty vegetables, savory stuffing, and a velvety cream sauce, this casserole is sure to become a star in your recipe repertoire. In this article, we’ll unlock the secrets behind this beloved dish and share a mouthwatering recipe that will have you coming back for seconds.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 cups cooked and shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works well)
  2. 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
  3. 1 cup sour cream
  4. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  5. 1/2 cup diced onion
  6. 1/2 cup diced celery
  7. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  12. 1 sleeve (about 40) buttery crackers, crushed
  13. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  14. Optional: Sliced almonds or crushed Ritz crackers for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, condensed cream of chicken soup, sour cream, mayonnaise, diced onion, diced celery, chopped parsley, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix until well combined.
  3. Spread the chicken mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the crushed buttery crackers and melted butter until well combined. Sprinkle the cracker mixture evenly over the chicken mixture in the baking dish.
  5. Top the casserole with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  6. If desired, sprinkle sliced almonds or crushed Ritz crackers over the cheese layer for extra crunch and flavor.
  7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  9. Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy the luxurious comfort of this Million Dollar Chicken Casserole!
  11. Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes | Total Time: 50-55 minutes | Kcal: Depending on serving size and ingredients used | Servings: 6-8 servings

Serving Tips:

  1. Allow it to Rest: After baking, allow the Million Dollar Chicken Casserole to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes it easier to slice and serve.
  2. Garnish Before Serving: For an added touch of freshness and flavor, garnish the casserole with chopped parsley or chives just before serving. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
  3. Serve with Accompaniments: Pair the casserole with complementary side dishes such as steamed vegetables, salad, or crusty bread. These accompaniments enhance the meal and provide a variety of textures and flavors.
  4. Use a Serving Spoon: When serving the casserole, use a large serving spoon to ensure that each portion contains a generous amount of chicken, vegetables, and stuffing. Be sure to scoop all the way to the bottom of the casserole dish to get a bit of everything in each serving.
  5. Individual Portions: To serve individual portions, use a spatula to carefully cut and lift out squares or portions of the casserole onto plates. This ensures that each serving is neatly plated and presented.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Million Dollar Chicken Casserole in an airtight container or tightly covered with aluminum foil in the refrigerator. It will keep well for 3-4 days.
  2. Reheating: To reheat the casserole, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil to prevent the top from over-browning, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
  3. Freezing: Million Dollar Chicken Casserole is freezer-friendly. To freeze, allow the casserole to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or tightly wrap it with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  4. Thawing: When ready to enjoy frozen casserole, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Once thawed, reheat according to the reheating instructions mentioned above.
  5. Quality Check: Before reheating and serving leftover casserole, ensure that it has been stored properly and is free from any signs of spoilage such as off odors or mold. If in doubt, discard the leftovers to ensure food safety.

FAQs:

  1. Can I use rotisserie chicken for this recipe? Yes, using rotisserie chicken is a convenient option for this casserole. Simply shred the meat from the rotisserie chicken and use it in place of cooked chicken breasts or thighs.
  2. Can I make this casserole ahead of time? Yes, Million Dollar Chicken Casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake. This is a great option for meal prep or for entertaining, as it allows you to save time on the day of serving.
  3. Can I use homemade stuffing instead of boxed stuffing mix? Certainly! If you prefer to use homemade stuffing, you can prepare it according to your favorite recipe and use it in place of the boxed stuffing mix. Just be sure that the consistency of the stuffing is similar to that of the boxed mix.
  4. Can I make this casserole gluten-free? Yes, you can make a gluten-free version of Million Dollar Chicken Casserole by using gluten-free cream of chicken soup and gluten-free stuffing mix. Be sure to check the labels of all ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free.
  5. Can I add extra vegetables to the casserole? Absolutely! Feel free to customize the casserole by adding extra vegetables such as diced carrots, celery, or mushrooms. Simply sauté the additional vegetables until tender before mixing them with the other ingredients.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Million Dollar Chicken Casserole is the epitome of comfort food bliss. With its irresistible combination of tender chicken, creamy sauce, and crispy stuffing topping, this casserole is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re feeding a hungry family or entertaining guests, this timeless dish is sure to impress. So why wait? Gather your ingredients and prepare to savor every decadent bite of Million Dollar Chicken Casserole. Your taste buds will thank you!