Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chicken Shangri-La With a Twist

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
2 cans (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained
1 can (6 oz.) water chestnuts, sliced
2 cans Chinese noodles (or 2 cups cooked egg noodles)
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced onions
1 small can cashew nuts (or 1/2 cup almond slivers)
Crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine first 8 ingredients.  Spoon into a large (9 x 12 x 2 approx.) baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Dot the top with butter then sprinkle with crushed potato chips, as desired.  Bake uncovered for 1 hr.

Martha:  This sounded like a really good dish and decided on an impulse to give it a try.  I thought I had all of the ingredients - not.  So I decided to 'Think With My Taste Buds' and see what I could use in place of what I didn't have.  The chicken came from 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves that I baked.  I had the soup, mushrooms and chestnuts but when it came to the Chinese noodles I found that I only had 1 can but I had plenty of egg noodles so I cooked up what ended up being about 2 cups.  The celery I cut down to 2 stalks and the onion I cut down to 1 medium and instead of slicing, I chopped.  Then came the cashews.  I had about a handful.  I always keep almond slivers in the refrigerator so decided to use them instead.  For the butter it took about 1/2 a stick and I used about 3/4 cup of crushed to cover the dish well.  Now for cooking.  Since I used egg noodles I knew those exposed to the heat would become 'crispy' when cooked so I took a piece of foil and laid it on top of the dish, removing it the last 10 minutes to allow the chips to brown.  This dish turned out simply delicious!  So see - if you Think With Your Taste Buds you can usually come up with something to add in place of what you don't have or don't like.

The original recipe came from a cookbook titled Seasonal Sampling from the American Cancer Society in Michigan, dating 1981.  Bringing back the old dishes is fun and tasty!

Carol:  Your Chicken Shangri-La With a Twist is delicious.  Noodles and chicken are always good together but paired with the water chestnuts and other cruncy bits (haven't figured that out) it is a very appealing meal.  I know you  will say this is easy to put together but I guess it will be because you have done the hard work of thinking through such a good combination!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chicken Spinach Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles
1 pkg (10 oz.) chopped spinach, thawed and very well drained (I squeeze mine between paper towels)
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. carton sour cream
1 can (4-6 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup almond slivers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl combine the spinach, chicken, 2 cups cheddar, onions, nutmeg, cornstarch, salt, pepper, soy sauce, soup, sour cream, mushrooms, and mayonnaise.  Mix until well blended.  Place 3 lasagna noodles in the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with 1/2 of the chicken mixture.  Top with 3 more lasagna noodles and then the remaining chicken mix.  Top with the last 3 noodles.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and almond slivers.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serves 6-8

Martha:  I found this recipe in a community cookbook put out by one of the real estate companies here in Charlotte.  The only changes I made was to increase the noodles from 6 to 9 and I also added the almond slivers.  My chicken came from 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I baked.  The original recipe called for 2 cups, this gave me about 3 cups.  I did cut my chicken into pieces but then pulled the pieces apart virtually making it shredded more so than chopped.  The addition of the almonds added another texture making it even more appealing to the mouth.  I served this dish to 6 of my food testers and I've received nothing but comments like 'is there any more?'  'when will you be making this again?'  'this is going to be one of my favorites!'  and of course 'this was simply the best yet!'  It may look like a lot of ingredients but each one adds just a touch of flavor which when combined become something so good you'll want more.

Carol:  First of all, I'm writing about the chicken lasagna.  Frances and I thought it was one of the best recipes you have developed!  We loved the filling you put in the lasagna, the topping of cheese and almonds, and that special something that makes it all so flavorful!  It is definitely our favorite "Martha" recipe to date!!!!!  I don't know whether all of that flavor is because of the pinch of nutmeg, but whatever it is, it's all delicious!