Amish Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

Thursday, 7 January 2021


This is one of my absolute all time favourite chicken casseroles.   Not only is is a great way to use up stale bread, but you can also use up leftover cooked chicken or even turkey, or you can cook chicken specifically just to use in it. 

This is a recipe which I adapted from an Amish Cookery book I had many moons ago.  You know how that goes.  Eventually the recipe becomes your own and it is no different with this!  Its now so much my own that it only vaguely resembles the original.


I love recipes like this. They may seem a bit old fashioned, but they are always delicious and you don't really need to buy in anything special to make them. Most of the time you will have everything you need right in the house to make them.

I usually poach chicken to use in this recipe. You can also use leftover cooked roast chicken or the leftovers from a rotisserie chicken.
 

Poaching chicken is very easy to do. I usually poach a whole package of chicken breasts at a time. 

Just take a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and place them into a saucepan large enough to hold them. Cover with either cold water or cold chicken broth, or a combination of the two.


You can add some salt and peppercorns if you wish.  Just bring to the boil then simmer them, covered for about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size and amount of them.

Turn the burner off and leave them covered in the stock to cool down just until you can comfortably touch them with your hands.  Remove from the stock, shred and use as you would for any recipe requiring cooked chicken. Don't forget to reserve the stock for use in this particular recipe.


The meat always comes out tender and juicy and filled with flavour. You can cook lots at one time and then just freeze it in lots containing two cups. I just double bag it in zip lock freezer bags. 

Make sure you label it with the contents and date.  Then you will always have cooked chicken on tap and ready to use.  You can break it apart very easily from frozen, or thaw it out on the defrost cycle of your microwave oven.


Another thing I like to do when I am using celery is to destring it. I trim both ends and then catch the strings with the end of my knife and pull them towards me. You can just throw the strings away.

Celery strings can sometimes be really tough and chewy.  Removing them takes away that problem. It doesn't take long. Lots of people don't like stringly celery. I don't like stringy celery. This way you get all of the flavour without any of the nuisance!


I use the whole loaf bread, crusts and all. Best is a rustic type of loaf, more like homemade bread. It is sturdier and holds up better. No need to dry it.

Just tear it into rough crumbs. You don't want them to be fine at all. You want some texture and substance.

Amish Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

 I only ever use butter for cooking. I never use margarine, although I am sure that you could if you really wanted to. I prefer the flavour of butter and I like that it is an all natural product.

I really don't want to fill my body with artificial fats and chemicals. Butter all the way here!  I also think butter has a flavour that nothing else really comes close to.  That's me.  I am a butter fiend!


You only want to add enough chicken stock to the bread to moisten it, so that it is not overly dry. You do NOT want it to be soggy in any way!  

The original recipe was very plain.  It had no onion, or herbs.   I like onion and I like herbs.   I also love stuffing, so my adaptions included ways to make it taste more like stuffing.


 
The original also didn't include celery or any stock.  It was basically just stewed chicken mixed with bread and a ton of butter, with some celery seed and seasoning.  It was very good.  (Think of a whole pound of butter.  Yikes!  No wonder it was considered tasty!) 

Cutting the amount of butter back and adding some aromatics took nothing away from the original. Its a bit healthier and I love the flavours of the celery and onion, plus the herbs. 


Not only that, but the butter you do use is infused with the flavours of celery and onion so it really tastes better with less.  Know what I mean? You can't go wrong! 

Whatever . . .  stale bread,  butter  softened celery and onion, a variety of herbs, seasoning and tender poached chicken mixed with a tiny bit of stock and baked to give you one very delicious and simple entree.

Amish Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

This is really very, very good.  Especially if you serve it with a bit of gravy and some vegetables on the side. We like tiny boiled potatoes with ours, but mash would also be great!

Leave it to the Amish to create something incredibly delicious out of next to nothing!

Amish Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

Amish Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
Yield: 4 - 6
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 15 Mincook time: 45 Mintotal time: 1 Hour
This is a fabulously tasty and easy bake. Just throw it together and pop it into the oven. I like to serve it with gravy, potatoes and vegetables on the side.

Ingredients

  • 3 large chicken breast filets, poached in chicken stock and cooled (Reserve the stock)
  • 1 medium loaf of sturdy stale white bread
  • 1/2 cup (125g) of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, washed, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried parsley, crumbled sage, thyme and summer savory if you have it

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a large shallow casserole. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and celery and cook over medium low heat until softened. Stir in the salt, pepper, celery seed and herbs. Set aside.
  3. Crumble the bread into a large bowl. Shred the chicken coarsely and add to the bread. Pour the butter mixture over all and toss together. Add only enough leftover stock so that your mixture is not totally dry. You don't want it soggy.
  4. Pile into the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with greased foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Delicious!
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Amish Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

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15 comments

  1. That looks delicious, Marie. Thanks for telling us how to poach chicken. I love the flavour of real butter, too. I've been known to butter pizza crusts or dip pretzel sticks in butter. Yikes! Have a good day. Love and hugs, Elaine

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    1. Are you sure we are not twins from different mothers Elaine? LOL You have a good day too! Love and hugs, xoxo

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    2. 🤣😂🤣😂....you said it!!!! Good woman, now I can admit BOTH of those “dark secrets”🤣😂🤣

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  2. What a tasty sounding dish - like a reworked Sunday roast - all the flavours and less fuss. I could imagine my mum making something like this from leftovers had we ever eaten a roast chicken. Though for us, chicken was a luxury food we only ate once a year. It was very expensive back then and with such a large family on a single income, it wasn't something we could not afford. Each time we ate it (on dad's birthday) we were in heaven. I still remember that all these years later.

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    1. We did not have chicken very often when I was gowing up either Marie. You are right, it was a treat and very expensive. It is still quite expensive here in Canada if you want to get good chicken and not the factory farmed. I love a nice roast chicken dinner. Its the best! And the leftovers, well, yummo! xoxo

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  3. This is definitely a keeper, Marie. It seems I only make stuffing at Thanksgiving, more or less but using bread (and yes, definitely the onions and celery and herbs) would be even better! Thanks -- this might even show up next weekend on my table!

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    1. I am sorry for responding so late to your comment Jeanie. I really hope you will make this. Its a real winner! xoxo

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  4. Marie: This is the best thing I have tasted in a very long time. Five Big Stars!

    I already had a pan of dressing to use.

    In the pan with the chicken I put broth, summer savory, pepper and garlic powder.
    What I had on hand.

    Next time I'll add more broth, so I'll have enough for mashed potatoes. :~)

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

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    1. Sorry for my late response! I am so pleased you took the time to make this and then come back and share your findings. Thank you so very much! You are welcome! xoxo

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  5. Oh my I made this it is so tasty 😋 I added some dried cranberries to spruce it up how wonderful....thank you

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    1. Dried cranberries would be an excellent addition. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. So pleased it was enjoyed! xoxo

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  6. What an original way to prepare chicken and get a rich and tasty dish, as well as healthy and nutritious for the whole family.

    Greetings

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  7. Thanks for explaining poaching. For years I've been over-boiling in ignorance! I'm eager to make this. Have everything but the chicken on hand. Then, next time, I'll add dried cranberries, mushrooms, & chopped almonds!

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    1. You are very welcome! Your suggested additions sound fabulous! I am going to try them myself! Thank you! xoxo

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