GRANNY BESS’ CHICKEN and MUSHROOM CASEROLE

5 May

Natasha’s Kitchen

Once upon a time, There was a thing called Pot luck dinners. Some times at Schools and most time at church.

Every one would bring a homemade dish , their best usually,  and share it with the community.

Of course there was always bragging rights,    whose Broccoli rice casserole was the best,  but it was all to  enjoyed and a shared , family style.

Yes , it’s  still happening , yes they are  somewhere  out there,  country parishes and the city  churches and it’s always a warm and welcoming time to join in fellowship and a togethership of community even if you don’t like everything on the table .

SUSAN JONES

https://christiangrandfather.com/

Steve Boling

ABD

       Now, this here recipe is a real old-time Church supper favorite.

Whenever there was a reason to have a supper, be it a new baby or a wedding, or a funeral, or just because the ladies of the Society of Perpetual Doubt and Worry decided that Pastor Dan needed to get the word out to all the sinners that did not regularly attend Sunday service, this was a had to have for the potluck dinner, just had to.

   This recipe was a closely guarded secret of one old woman parishioner, that everyone called Granny Bess.

    Now, she wasn’t my gramma or anybody else’s either. As a matter of fact,

she, Granny Bess, was not related to anyone in the county, or any of the neighboring counties.

As far as anyone knew she was always old and had always been here. Even old Mr. Torkelson, who is 84, who owns the local store, says she was old when he was a kid. Of course, his eyes aren’t very good and never were, reason he didn’t fight in the war, but he raises the flag on the flagpole outside his store every morning because loves America.

      And every once in a while, some outsider might stop by and get an invite, to the church supper ,  we’re mostly pretty friendly like that .

They and would have a plate of Granny Bess’ Chicken and Mushroom casserole and say, “This is the best I’ve  ever had!”

Then the outsider might say, “How old are you Granny Bess?”

“I’m as old as dirt, “she would say, and spit on the ground.

Folks would ask Granny Bess for the recipe but Granny Bess never gived it up to nobody.

Absolutely the best Chicken and Mushroom casserole anybody ever had and no one could duplicate it.

  They tried, but there was something, some ingredient the only Granny Bess knew about.

 

     Well, one day I was up at her place doing some chores (I told you she’s real old) and she says to me “Come on in to the kitchen”

And I did, thinking that faucet had started to leak again.

Granny Bess sits me down in a wooden chair, looks me right in the eye and says,” You’re a pretty good cook, might even call you a chef.”

” Thanks”

“I’m not giving you no compliment. I’m telling you why I’m going to tell you something”

“I’m not going to be able to make my Chicken Mushroom casserole for the church suppers anymore”

“Why not?”

“Don’t you worry about why not! I going to do a little traveling”

“Where to Granny Bess? “

“You needn’t worry about that either. Thing is, all those folks down at the church have come to depend on having my Chicken and Mushroom casserole at the suppers and well with me not being here someone’s got to be able to make it for them. Especially Pastor Dan. He’ s the reason there’s never any leftovers.”

  “Yes, he sure can pack the groceries away.”

“Yes, he can, God Bless him!”

“Now I’ve watched you cook and I like most of the dishes you fix so I’m gonna tell you the secret of my casserole and you can carry on the tradition.”

I couldn’t believe it. Folks would give their right arm for that recipe.

“I believe you can figure out most of what I do, ain’t no magic in it.”

 She walked d over to the old ice box, opens the door, reaches in and tosses me ……. a lemon.

“Squeeze that in to the gravy right before you put the pan in the oven to bake “

“A Lemon” ….  I understand, as I nod my head.

“A Lemon, I never would of  thought it, you can’t taste lemon.”

“You can’t taste THE lemon you mean. That’s the something special that no one can figure out It’s what makes the chicken and mushroom casserole the best. And don’t get any seeds in there!”

 

    Granny Bess disappeared the next day.

She just up and left. Nobody knew where she came from or where she went to. The house she had always lived in, cleaned out.

Empty.

Not a stick of furniture left. Like no one had ever lived there.

    And the only thing I have to remember Granny Bess by is her recipe for chicken and Mushrooms casserole.

    That was a long time ago and I’ve kept her secret ever since.

  Then I got to thinking, if you don’t live around these parts, and you don’t get off the highway at the exit by old man Growlers barn and if it’s not a supper night at the Ladies  Society of Perpetual Doubt and Worry, you will never get a chance to taste Granny Bess’ Chicken and Mushroom casserole.

  So, I’m gonna give it to you and you promise not to tell anyone, okay?

 

So here it is

Casserole:

4-5 large (2 1/2 lbs.) boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch thick strips
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 Tsp paprika –  to coat the chicken
6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 medium onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced

Sauce:

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour for the sauce
1  1/2 cups chicken broth with 2 cubes chicken bullion dissolved
Juice of 1 lemon NO SEEDS  !!!!!!!
3/4 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)

Handful of flat Italian Parsley – chopped

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in flour. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and saute until golden. Work in batches if needed so you don’t crowd your pan. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through; it still needs to go in the oven. Transfer chicken to a 13×9 casserole baking dish.
  2. Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel. Add 3 Tbsp oil along with sliced mushrooms and diced onions and saute until soft and golden. Add garlic and saute another 1-2 min. Spread mixture over the chicken.
  3. In a medium saucepan (or in the same pan you’ve been using), melt 3 Tbsp butter. Whisk in 3 Tbsp flour until lightly golden (1-2 min).
  4. Add 1½ cups chicken broth, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup half & half and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. Cover with foil and bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley.
  7. Serve warm or hot over mashed potatoes, pasta or rice.

Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen

  Eat And Enjoy !
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