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Chicken Noodle Casserole

Our dear Aunt Fran led the charge of countless family adventures, but without a doubt she was the maestro of our annual beach camping trip. Not only did she orchestrate and execute all aspects of our week, she also saw to it that our every culinary need was met! What we sometimes affectionately referred to as “Camp Coronary” was a time that created indelibly etched memories that will be treasured forever. This recipe is my re-creation of the camp chicken noodle meal she made in a very large stock pot on an old camp stove.                                                                                                                                  

This one’s for you Jer and Sarah!

4 baked boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 small onion, chopped
margarine or butter
1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms, sauteed
1 cup lite sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 large package of good quality wide egg noodles
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
kosher salt
dash of fresh ground pepper

Place seasoned chicken in a baking pan with a splash of sherry. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Cool the chicken and shred or cut up, reserving the juice. Saute the chopped onions and sliced mushrooms in butter separately. Cook the noodles per package instructions, being careful not to overcook. When the noodles are finished, drain well. Stir together the sour cream and soup in a bowl. Combine the noodles, onions, sour cream and soup mixture in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Gently stir to blend all the ingredients well. Stir in the chicken. Add juice from the baking pan as needed to moisten. Stir in the desired amount of shredded monterey jack cheese and season to taste with salt and a hint of nutmeg.  Fold in the mushrooms. Additional cheese can be added to the top of the casserole if desired. Sprinkle top with a pinch of nutmeg. Bake at 350 degrees about 15 to 20 minutes or until hot.
This is a great make ahead casserole – just remove from the refrigerator and bake before serving.

Chicken Salsa Verde Casserole

This is an original Trader Joe’s recipe. With a little twist it quickly became a requested main dish for some of our coveted family dinners with our adult children. I like to serve it with a green salad tossed with cilantro dressing, paired with rice and beans. Chips and salsa are optional!

This is a great make ahead casserole for busy days. Just put it together, refrigerate, and bake in time for dinner.

1 jar Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde
1 (16-ounce) container lite sour cream
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of corn tortillas
6 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
Seasonings: kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and Mexican seasoning

In a baking dish or slow cooker season skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Add a splash of dry sherry. Bake covered for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees or slow cook on high for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the chicken, reserving juice. Shred or cut up the chicken. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. In a large bowl combine the salsa verde, sour cream, and chicken. Add a bit of juice from the baking dish but not too much – the mixture should be thick. Layer some tortillas on the bottom of the baking pan. Pour half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas. Top with desired amount of cheese, up to 3 cups. Repeat one more layer, ending with the the cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Note: The original recipe calls for 1 package of TJ’s frozen chicken strips, thawed and chopped. It also calls for monterey jack cheese.


Merry Christmas Mom!

Hi Mom!

Well, your gift bracket was very exciting this year (as it always is). We had lots of good gifts, but the winner and consensus all-star gift this year was your very own cooking website.

We’ve bought you a domain name, set up your web hosting, and will show you how to use it. You can add recipes, create categories of food, and even post what you are cooking that night so that everyone of your kids can visit your website and see what is up in Kays Kitchen!

We love you Mom! Merry Christmas!

– Your family