Poppy-seed Chicken Casserole

Posted on March 21, 2012

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Did you know that Monday was National Poultry Day? Well, it was, and even though it’s Wednesday I thought I’d give you another delicious chicken recipe – Poppy seed Chicken!

Oh how I love me some Poppy-seed Chicken Casserole. In college, it was always a treat when we had it; you had to get there early if you wanted to get a good scoop with the extra buttery Ritz crumb topping… people got a little stingy with the crunchy topping and the late plate just wasn’t nearly as good.

Anyways, Poppy-seed Chicken Casserole makes me happy – well, it makes my taste buds happy. It does not, however, make my waistline or heart happy with its can of cream of chicken soup, carton of sour cream, sleeve of Ritz crackers, and ½ stick of butter. But I needed to make Poppy-seed Chicken, so I attempted to make it a little healthier. Side note: there aren’t any veggies, so be sure to add a side salad or other vegetables with your poppy-seed chicken

I was actually surprised at how good it turned out. You need to try this soon! I know it’s a hearty, comfort food type dish, and it’s been above 70° for the past month. But this is worth making no matter what temperature it is outside!

Poppy-seed Chicken Casserole

Serves 4

  • 1.25 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs*
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP unbleached flour
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion flakes or powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt-free spice blend, like The Delicious Dietitian Southern All-Purpose Seasoning or Creole Spice Blend
  • 1 to 1½ cups (8-12 oz) 2% or fat-free Plain Greek yogurt (both work)
  • 1 TBSP poppy-seeds
  • 12 Ritz crackers, crushed (you can get the “whole wheat” version, but it doesn’t make much of an improvement)
  • 1 TBSP melted butter

Put chicken in a pot and cover with broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is done {you just poached chicken}. Remove chicken, let cool slightly, and shred or chop. Reserve ½ cup chicken broth, and save the remaining broth for later use (be sure to refrigerate or freeze).

Heat pot used to poach chicken over medium heat and add butter. Whisk in flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in ½ cup chicken broth, then milk. Continue to whisk until mixture starts to boil. Boil for 1 minute then reduce heat to low. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, salt-free spice blend, and cooked chicken. Remove from heat {you just made cream of chicken “soup”}.

Stir Greek yogurt and poppy-seeds into chicken mixture. (You can add a couple of tablespoons extra yogurt if you want). Put mixture in a 2 quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray.

If you are making this meal ahead of time, cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours**. Otherwise, proceed with directions.

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine melted butter and Ritz cracker crumbs. Top poppy-seed chicken casserole with buttery Ritz cracker crumbs. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes until topping is crispy. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

*If you don’t want to poach the chicken you can use about 3 cups already cooked chicken. You will only need ½ cup chicken broth instead of 4 cups.

**If you are making this ahead of time, be sure not to add Ritz until right before baking. Also, take the casserole out of the refrigerator before preheating oven. You don’t want to put a cold casserole dish into a hot oven – it might cause the dish to break.

mmmm…

This recipe was inspired by the delicious casserole at the KKG house and this Southern Living recipe

Loyally, Meme 🙂

P.S. Here are some other chicken recipes for you to celebrate a belated Poultry Day: Chicken and Vegetables Sauce with rice, Honey Balsamic Chicken, Chicken Pot-Pie, Smokey Chipotle Chicken Tacos, Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta, Chicken Fingers, Chicken Taquitos, and Mexican Chicken Salad


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Posted in: Food Holiday, Recipes