Monday night, I got together at my sister-in-law's house for a Frozen Dinner Swap. There were 10 girls, mostly old high school friends from Airline ... and me, the solo Byrd grad. But I felt right at home with these ladies since I knew about half of the group already. And my brother was there, but he didn't really count since he was mostly trying to hide out and shield his ears from the girl talk. Poor Chris.
Anyway, each girl brought five four-person servings of their dish. Then we each took turns drawing five numbers and selecting our frozen meals. Then we all got really confused and pretty much ended up taking whatever meals we wanted. I think this was an injustice to the system since I really like to follow the rules.
Here's an inventory of what everyone brought:
Chicken and Dumplings
Shrimp & Corn Chowder
Crock pot Beef Tips
Chicken Andouille Gumbo
Broccoli & Cheese Soup
Chicken Noodle Casserole
Creamy Chicken Chili
I walked away with the gumbo, taco soup, broccoli cheese soup, chicken chili and chicken divan.
During the exchange, I could see my brother was in the kitchen negotiating on behalf of my dish, the chicken noodle casserole. "You know, that's my grandmother's recipe. That stuff is awesome." Isn't he sweet?
Chris and I have always loved Nana's Chicken Noodle Casserole. It's nothing complicated or fancy. For all we know, she could have gotten the recipe off the side of a Campbell's can or a box of Velveeta. But it's still a favorite and does require some elbow grease if you boil your own chicken, which is a must. In my opinion, using canned chicken is a cardinal sin. Although, when I breached my third hour of boiling and deboning, it sounded like a tempting offer.
In the following weeks, I'll post each of the recipes as I sample my dishes and prepare the dishes I didn't take home. For now, I'll start this series with my Nana's recipe. Enjoy!
Chicken Noodle Casserole
4 lbs. chicken, boiled and deboned
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 12oz. package of egg noodles
1 can cream of celery soup
1 lb of Velveeta cheese, plus a little extra for the top
celery salt, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine first seven ingredients.
Top with additional Velveeta and bread crumbs.
Cover and bake at 375 until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
** For added flavor, I boil my egg noodles in the remaining chicken broth. It gives them a richer flavor.
I'm a former journalist turned marketer of concrete. I still type a lot. Other than that, I'm married to an oilman, the owner of a mini-schnauzer named Baxter and a lab named Lacy, chef to anyone with an appetite and a connoisseur of $10 wines.