Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Casserole

There are days like today that just bring on the nostalgia. Wake up to a chilly house, a warm snuggly bed and visions of cider and pumpkin doughnuts. It felt like fall when I woke up, which made me think of thanksgiving. 

I didn't have a turkey in the freezer. But that's okay, I had chicken breasts and poultry is poultry right? Eh,well it's close anyways. So how can I make this dish scream Thanksgiving? I scoured my cupboards and moved all my vegetables aside. Hidden in the darkest recesses of my pantry (next to canned sauerkraut and one lonely jar of lima beans) was a can of jellied cranberry sauce. Yes, I eat the can shaped cranberry mystery that those fancy tv chefs seem to abhor. And I LIKE it. Once a year.

So what did I do? Naturally I diced my chicken into bite sized chunks and seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. THEN I chopped up half of a can of the jellied cranberry sauce and threw it in with the chicken. Why? Because it melts down and forms a nice sauce. And that's one layer!

Another layer is mashed potatoes. I uh, baked some potatoes and smashed them up with some butter and salt. I also snuck in horseradish when the other members of the household weren't looking. If they don't know it's in there, they don't complain. 

Another layer is creamed corn! I'd like to say I made it, but I didn't, I opened a can. It's just that easy!

The final layer is stuffing. I am proud to say I DID make that. From scratch. With two different kinds of bread. Wheat sandwich bread, because I had it. And about 1/5 of a loaf of pumpernickel. The pumpernickel was a remnant of my crippling spinach dip addiction. But that's another blog. 

I tore up the bread into large chunks and let it sit out for hours, to dry up a bit. To speed up the process, you can always light toast your bread or bake it for half an hour at 200 degrees. While my bread dried out I chopped up some celery and some onion. Nice and small if you please! 

Once your bread is dry, your veggies are diced and your tummy grumbles, it's time to mix the stuffing. To your bread add your veggies, one large egg, one cup of chicken broth, one teaspoon salt, one tablespoon ground sage, one teaspoon garlic powder and two tablespoons bacon crumbles. Mmm bacon crumbles. 

Now to assemble our casserole! Place your mashed potatoes at the bottom of your baking dish, then your creamed corn, then your chicken and finally your stuffing. Bake at 350 degrees until warmed through and your stuffing is all crunchy on top. I love the crunchy part!

There you have it! Another great dish from my kitchen to your table!  

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