Comfort food. That beloved meal of heritage that is a classic go-to in your home.
In our house we have a dish my husband took from his ex-wife. It strikes me as one of those down-home dishes every other person probably knows how to make, and I’m just fine with that.
Doesn’t make it any less good. This goes fast in our house. My girls eat in huge helpings (I now wonder if I can turn it into a calorie-packed meal for cystic fibrosis). One time, before we had kids, my husband fed the missionaries while I was at work and those elders ate all of it.
The best part is you can make this as simple or elaborate as you want. At its simplest, the dish is chicken, rice, broccoli, and cream soup together in a pan. You can use turkey, you can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli or combine the two, you can probably cram in other foods.
I’ll give you our favorite version.
1 pound of chicken, diced or shredded
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk or water (use milk if you have nothing against milk)
1 head of broccoli chopped into florets. Or an equivalent amount of broccoli florets. You’re really looking for enough broccoli to create its own stratus.
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
2 cups of cooked rice
1 cup of shredded cheese.
Oil or butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 350.
Chop the onions to your preference (we like Julian) and sauté them with the fat in a pan. You can do the mushrooms with them, but Julie and Julia did say to cook them separate so they’ll brown properly or something. When they’re looking pretty good, cook the chicken. Sometimes I cook this dish in a cast iron skillet and just leave my chicken, onions, and fungi there when I’m done. Because my husband feels quite strongly they ought to be the bottom layer. If you’re using a baking dish, then simply move this stuff to the pan.
Steam the broccoli, then spread it over the chicken and stuff. Dash some salt and pepper on this.
Cook the cream soups with the milk (or water, if you must). When prepared, mix this with the rice. When it’s all nice and combined, pour it over the rest of the food. Salt and pepper as you will.
Stick this in the oven. 5 minutes or so gets it nice and hot. Then, sprinkle the cheese over it. Cook about 5-10 minutes until your cheese is to your liking.
Serve and enjoy. It’s creamy, heavy comfort food that just tastes good.