Do you wake up some mornings and all through the day your mind wanders back to good times shared with family and friends? More often than not, for me, these wanderings include thoughts of food I have enjoyed either at my home, the homes of family and friends or the food I enjoyed while working at the two Fairfax County School’s where I spent many happy years.
The teacher’s lounge was always filled with delicious foods brought in by the teachers, other staff members and our wonderful parents. It seems as though we were always celebrating something. There was the monthly breakfast, birthday celebrations, baby showers, wedding showers, and, of course, all the wonderful holidays during the school year.
I got this recipe from co-worker Lynne Morgan and I have cooked this dish many times over the years. The ingredients are readily available; it is easy to assemble and cooks in only 30 minutes.
Lynne’s Baked Chicken Salad
4 cups cubed, cooked chicken breasts
¾ can cream of chicken soup
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons grated onion
½ cup mayonnaise
3 hard-boiled eggs chopped
1 ½ cups chopped celery
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Mix all ingredients and add a pinch or two of curry powder. Mix well. Cover with a mixture of grated sharp cheddar cheese and crushed potato chips.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.
Depending on their size, I use two or three skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and this time, Emeril’s Italian Essence onto the chicken, added a few pats of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and baked for about 30 minutes at 350°. I have often entertained the idea of using frozen chicken breast pieces but even on a really hot day I still prefer to bake my own chicken.
I have made this dish for many years always adhering to the recipe but this year I decided to change it up a bit. As I have mentioned so many times in past blogs I have turned my attention to making meals that are good but also with an eye towards healthy eating.
So this time I decided to use Campbell’s Healthy Request cream of chicken soup. This version of the soup has half the calories and half the sodium than the traditional cream of chicken soup. I also used a light version of mayonnaise and 2% milk shredded sharp cheddar cheese. As far as the potato chips go, I actually used kettle chips for the topping. I have found that regular potato chips tend to soak up too much moisture thus not retaining their crispness and do not reheat well. The kettle chips stay crisp even the next day when put in the microwave for reheating.
Add some sliced vine-ripened, juicy tomatoes, a green vegetable or a salad and voilà you have a great hot weather meal.
Now I must tell you that I actually like the original recipe just a bit more because it is creamier but the healthy version is really good too. So much so Randy had two helpings. Randy rarely eats more than one helping of anything because he is always watching his waistline, so for him this was high praise.