Poppy Seed Chicken and Asparagus
A creamy chicken and asparagus casserole with rice
4 cups fresh asparagus (trim and cut into inch-long pieces)
1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 cups rice, cooked according to package instructions (should be about 4 1/2 cups of cooked rice)
5 cups (loosely packed) cooked cubed chicken
3 cups homemade cream of chicken soup*
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers and 1/4 cup melted butter, optional
1. Saute asparagus and onion in oil until crisp-tender.
2. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread cooked rice in the bottom. Top with the cooked asparagus.
3. In a large bowl** combine chicken, cream of chicken soup, milk, sour cream, and poppy seeds. Pour evenly over the asparagus and rice.
4. Optional: Crush 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers and sprinkle over top of chicken. Drizzle with melted butter.***
5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
*Can substitute two 15-ounce cans of cream of chicken soup, but I like homemade best!
Here is how to make the homemade cream of chicken soup. It's easy!
In a large stock pot, whisk together:
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1-2 teaspoons salt
After whisking (to remove flour lumps), bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for a minute or two until thick. Makes 3 cups.
**I use the pan I made my homemade cream of chicken soup in.
***I skip the crackers and butter part, since it's expensive and unhealthy, and I don't particularly care for the taste, anyway. I think prepared chicken-flavor stuffing might be a good substitute, though with the rice, it's not necessary.
This is how the casserole looked the first time I made it,
with crackers on top, and no asparagus
45 minutes (includes making the soup from scratch)
This is a delicious, healthy casserole! I started with this recipe for Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole from Monica's blog, and altered it slightly. The second time I made it, I added asparagus. My husband and I both loved it with asparagus, and agreed that we preferred it that way! We also like brown rise, for added nutrition and substance. Really yummy, healthy, and filling! My rating: 10/10