Cheesy Chicken Casserole – When I first posted this recipe on another website, I attributed it to my Grandma Betty. Turns out it was my uncle’s wife’s mom’s recipe and this is what she said: “The chicken casserole recipe came to me from my mother. It is actually a take-off of the chicken casserole that was served at the old Durbin Hotel in Rushville, Indiana. In the original recipe, I believe they added a small jar or two of red pimentos to the casserole (probably just for color).” I’m so thankful this recipe was passed sideways and down! It’s very cheesy and very filling.
Here’s how I originally wrote it up. 🙂
My Grandma Betty was the best cook in the world; she learned from the best, my great grandma and her 4 sisters. I don’t know if grandma followed a recipe for her chicken casserole–I rather doubt it since I don’t recall her ever having a full set of measuring cups. (I’m sure any one of her umpteen grand-kids or great-grand-kids used them in the backyard to make fancy mud pies, with her rose petals for garnishments, and they’re still buried behind the old concrete barbecue fireplace.) *insert 2 solid hours of looking for a picture of this old fireplace with kids making culinary masterpieces out of mud*
My mom made this casserole so often in the beginning of her marriage to my step-dad that he finally refused to eat what he called “chicken soufflé” for the rest of his life. Thank heavens Jimmie will eat almost anything I cook and he happens to love casseroles. This one is his favorite! I’m sure my recipe isn’t anything like the original from the Durbin Hotel, but mine is incredibly delicious. Henceforth, I shall call it:
Cheesy Chicken Casserole
11 x 15 baking dish (or anything you have larger than 9 x 13)
- 1 whole thawed chicken
- 2 or 4 (12 oz.) bags Reames Egg Noodles (freezer section) (I usually use 4 to feed my crew, but you can get by with 2 with all other ingredients the same quantities as listed.)
- 2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 2 sticks Butter + some to butter the baking dish
- 1-1/2 lbs. Velveeta, cubed
- 1/2 loaf of white bread, cut into cubes
- Salt & pepper
Remove and discard the packet of innards from the chicken and place in a stockpot.
Cover with water and liberally salt the heck out of it. (4 tbsp.)
Put a lid on it, slightly tilted for excess steam to escape, and then bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 45-60 minutes, or until a leg falls off just by looking at it. (Seriously, when forked the meat should look and feel very tender and juices run clear.)
Remove from the chicken broth and set aside to cool before attempting to pull the meat from the bones. Meanwhile…
Bring the broth back up to boiling then add the bags of noodles. Cook until tender–according to package directions.
While the noodles are cooking, cut 1 (ONE) stick of butter into pieces and the Velveeta into cubes and set aside. Butter the baking dish. Cube the bread. Begin pulling the chicken from the skin and bones.
When the noodles are done, turn off the heat and drain well. Return to the pot.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Dump the butter, Velveeta, and both cans of cream of mushroom soup on top of the noodles along with what you think is a good amount of salt and pepper, put the lid on tight, and let sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
Cut the pulled chicken into small pieces into the pot, stir all together, and then pour into prepared baking dish. Cover with bread cubes and dot with second stick of butter.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and the bread cubes are lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.
We love buttered peas on the side. 😊
Happy eating! 😊