Special Chicken & Stuffing Bake
Source of Recipe
"Special" because it's just a little nicer than the usual chicken & stuffing casseroles. Great casserole for after Thanksgiving to use up leftovers as well. I've kept this pretty simple, but you can change and adapt it to your tastes. For instance, you can add some saute'd onions and celery to the stuffing mixture if desired, or use additional seasonings to your taste. My husband doesn't care for casseroles much, but he ate two large bowls of this one!
List of Ingredients
4 cups of seasoned stuffing cubes (please don't use Stove Top here, use a good traditional stuffing like Pepperidge Farm or something similar)
2 cups of chicken broth (can use one can plus enough water to equal 2 cups)
1 - 2 cups of leftover cooked chicken (I've used everything from rotisserie chicken to leftover grilled chicken - it all works)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (or your favorite "cream of whatever")
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 small can of sliced mushrooms, well drained (you can also use fresh, or omit if you don't like them)
1 can of green beans, well drained (sub frozen thawed if you prefer, about 2 cups worth)
1/2 to 1 cup of Durkee French Fried Onions (*see note*)
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 2 quart baking dish, or a 9x13 baking dish, and set aside.
FOR THE STUFFING: In a large bowl, place the stuffing cubes. Warm the chicken broth and add it to the dry stuffing gradually, stirring and tossing until the liquid is well absorbed and the stuffing is no longer dry at all. Note: you may not need all of the 2 cups of chicken broth - that's ok, just set aside what you don't use and you can put it into the sauce mixture.
FOR THE SAUCE: In a mixing bowl, stir the can of soup together with the sour cream and any remaining chicken broth, if you have any left. If you don't have any broth left, you can add about a half a cup of water, white wine, or milk. Stir or whisk everything together until smooth and creamy; set aside.
TO ASSEMBLE: Place the prepared stuffing into the bottom of your casserole dish, making a nice even layer. Scatter the chicken and the mushrooms (if using) over the stuffing. Arrange the green beans in a border around the edges of the casserole. (At this point, you can sprinkle the whole thing with some salt/seasoning salt and pepper if desired.) Spread the sauce over the top of the casserole, going all the way to the edges - you want some of the sauce to go into the green beans as well. Sprinkle the French Fried Onions on the top of the casserole. Cover with a lid or with foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes, then remove the lid/foil for another ten minutes to toast and brown the onions on top. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Note regarding the French Fried Onions: If you don't care for these or simply don't have them on hand, you can sub a couple other things to make a nice topping - although with any of these, I would not add them until the last 10 minutes or so of baking:
~Additional stuffing cubes, crushed and tossed with a little butter
~Crushed crackers (Ritz or Cheez-Its), tossed with a little butter
~Bread crumbs (fresh or dried, plain or seasoned), tossed with a little butter
Additional notes: If you're making this casserole with Thanksgiving leftovers (subbing turkey for the chicken of course!), you can also use any leftover veggies that you have - either to replace the green beans or add to them.