Comfort Foods for Uncertain Times

Banks are failing, unemployment is the highest it has been in years and we’ve seen the value of our 401(k)’s tumble, it’s no wonder that many of us are grabbing for a bowl of mashed potatoes or a plate of macaroni and cheese to comfort our soul!  From what I am reading, these turbulent times have resulted in a heightened interest in comfort foods.    

 

That doesn’t surprise me.  I think most of us gain some level of comfort when we revert back to more traditional, simple dishes – reminiscent of a less complex period in our lives.  The country’s current economic circumstances have given us pause and for many families, going out to eat is not an option right now, so home cooking has become even more important. 

 

While we transition out of this economic mess, I’m going to include more low-cost, delicious comfort foods that you can make at home.  Here’s one of my particular favorites:   

 

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

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This is a snap to make and delicious.  Most of the ingredients are ones that you will have in your pantry.  Great way to use that bread that’s going stale! Team it up with some fresh veggies and you’ve got a great family meal.

 

$$ Saving Tip:  – Roast a whole chicken and strip the meat off of it and use it in the recipe, instead of purchasing the more expensive boneless chicken breasts or already cooked chicken cubes.  You can also use the remaining chicken carcass to make chicken stock for a great chicken soup later.

 

Yield: 6-8 Servings

 

INGREDIENTS

 

¾ cup chopped celery

½ cup sweet yellow onion – finely chopped

2 tablespoons parsley – finely chopped

1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

6 cups day old bread cubes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly grated black pepper to taste

½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

3 cups low sodium chicken broth

4 cups diced, cooked chicken

1 cup fine dry bread crumbs

 

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter and add celery, onions and parsley. Saute’ for approximately 5 minutes until the celery is tender and onions translucent. Add bread cubes, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Toss lightly. Stir in broth and cubed chicken. Mix well and turn into a greased, shallow 3-quart casserole dish. Brown the breadcrumbs in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle over casserole. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned and the casserole is bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.