Chicken casseroles are crowd pleasers, but the work of boiling chicken breasts, cooling them and then shredding or chopping the meat takes them out of the quick-and-easy category for most cooks.
Pixie Frank, of Augusta, has shared a casserole that starts with cubes of raw chicken, saving you lots of kitchen time. The recipe is a combination of two recipes she received from a friend, Trisha Kelleher, who, Mrs. Frank says, was a very good cook.
The casserole bakes in an hour. It can be served with muffins and a fruit salad for a family meal or women's luncheon.
Trisha's Asparagus and Chicken Casserole
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans cut asparagus, drained, or 1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
3/4 cups mayonnaise
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups Pepperidge Farms herb stuffing
1/3 cup butter, melted
Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, then spread the chicken in the bottom of the dish. Top with the asparagus. Combine the soup and mayonnaise and spread over the asparagus. Sprinkle with the cheese and top with the stuffing. Drizzle with the melted butter and bake for 1 hour, until the casserole is bubbly and the chicken is tender.
Makes 8 servings.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: 598 calories, 45 grams fat (17 grams saturated), 17 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams protein, 120 milligrams cholesterol, 1.8 grams fiber and 1,629 milligrams sodium
Nutritional analysis by Jeannie Hatfield-Laube, research dietitian at the Georgia Prevention Institute, Medical College of Georgia, in conjunction with the Augusta District Dietetic Association.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Gnocchi with Italian beef ragout sounds like a gourmet restaurant dish, but you can whip it up in under 30 minutes with a few grocery convenience products.
Write to Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, Ga 30903-1928. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find quick cooking recipes through the archive at augustachronicle.com/karin.