I love a good casserole, don’t you? You know what I love more? When I get to eat a good casserole, especially when I’m not the one who prepared it!
A few years ago my husband (bless his heart) tried his hand at making a casserole. You would have to know him to understand how thoughtful it was of him to do this. Let’s just put it this way, cooking and baking is not something which comes naturally to him. Eating what I bake and cook is entirely a different story.
You know its not a good sign when someone presents a dish saying “I’m not going to tell you what is in here because you will think it’s gross and won’t eat it”. He had good reason to be skeptical of my potential reaction because the “wet” part of the casserole is made with mayonnaise and a can of condensed cream of chicken soup. Right now some of you are saying “gross, nasty, yuck..”, its okay because I had similar thoughts running through my head. I would like to encourage you by saying, “Please do not knock it until you try it”. Not only did I eat, I loved it!! And ad an added bonus, MY KIDS LOVED IT!!
The reason I love this casserole so much is because its simplicity. Chicken, onions, celery, rice, and almonds together is very lovely as you can imagine. Adding condensed soup and mayonnaise together is a surprisingly nice combination. The vinegar and acid in the mayonnaise cuts into the saltiness of the condensed soup ultimately giving the casserole a very nice balanced flavor. And the “wet” ingredients are just enough to bind the rest of the ingredients together. I top it off with Stove-Top because it adds a great crunch savory crust making this dish.. “MMmmm MMMmm good”.
Since then this casserole has become a family favorite and is often requested for potlucks. From our house to yours, enjoy!
3 cups cooked rice (approx. 1.5 cups of uncooked rice)
2 tablespoons butter
1 med onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1 pound chicken breast, cubed into bite sized pieces
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise * what I do is use the same amount as the soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
Salt and Pepper
1 box (5oz) of Stove Top stuffing mix
3 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium size saute/frying pan toast almonds for approximately 3 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove almonds from pan into large bowl. Add 2 TB of butter to frying pan and saute chicken pieces until no longer pink. Remove chicken and add to the bowl with almonds. Saute onions and celery for 3 minutes and add to the chicken/almond mixture. Add rice, condensed cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, and a little salt and pepper (to taste) to the bowl and mix everything until well combined. Add mixture to a greased casserole dish (dish size can be anything from medium to 9×13). Microwave 3 TB. of butter until melted. Open the bag of Stove Top Stuffing and add melted butter to it. Fold the bag at the seam and shake the mixture for half a minute. Sprinkle the stuffing mixture on top of the casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!