I haven’t been blogging much lately. Too much life getting in the way. Too many things that just haven’t gone right. Too many things that have just been… complicated. I wish sometimes that things could just be easy. Easy to get done. Easy to go through. Easy to figure out. But that’s not how life is, in general. And when things get difficult and complicated even The Humble Food Snob tries to find things that are as UNcomplicated as possible. Sometimes that even means throwing together a dish that is made up of simple, premade products that maybe aren’t the greatest for you, but provide a measure of comfort that at least partly makes up for some of the dubious ingredients. Sometimes you just need that. One example is my taco bake. Another is this casserole. I found it on a now-defunct blog and played with the recipe until it came out just right. My daughters were reluctant to try it, since it’s not exactly beautiful food, but once they did they loved it! They even like to take it to school for lunch. And now that winter has come to South Dakota I’m looking for hot foods to send with them for lunch. They have recess before lunch (which I think makes more sense than sending kids out to run around on a full stomach) so they need something to warm them up for lunch. This casserole is just the ticket! And it’s easy enough to just throw together; even when life is being frustratingly difficult.
For the chicken filling I like to use roasted chicken. You COULD use store bought rotisserie chicken, but the price you pay for those is just disturbing. In my area they are up to $8-$10 now for a bird that is barely big enough to feed 2 people. Instead, I recommend using rotisserie roasted chicken you made yourself. I shared the recipe last week and it’s perfect for this recipe. So gather your ingredients…
The yellow stuff in the cup is canned nacho cheese sauce. I haven’t found a recipe I like for homemade yet, so I use canned. You can also use the salsa con queso that’s found in the chip aisle. All you need is about a quarter cup. You can leave it out, but I like the flavor and moisture it adds to the filling.
So chop the chicken, mix in the cheese sauce if you’re using it, and add half a cup of the shredded cheese.
Once you have that mixture put together, set it aside and mix the cream of mushroom soup, milk, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a small sauce pan and heat to a boil. Turn the heat to low and mix in one cup of the cheese (you should have about half a cup leftover now). Leave the pan on the lowest heat you can manage on your stove and get your crescent rolls ready. Open the can and unroll the crescents. Put a roll on your work surface and flatten very gently to give yourself a little more to work with. Take about a tablespoon of filling and put it on the wide part of the roll:
Don’t put too much filling on; if you do, not only will you not have enough to fill all of the crescents, but the rolls will open during cooking and all you’ll have is a mess. Now take the bottom corners and fold them in, like so:
Fold the bottom up to the top and you will have a very neat little parcel of tastiness:
Spray a 13×9 baking dish with oil or cooking spray and spread a scant half cup of your sauce into the bottom. As you make your parcels, line them up in the pan so they look like this:
Next, pour the remaining sauce all over the parcels and then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the whole thing.
Cover this with foil that you’ve sprayed with oil or cooking spray (it’s the easiest way to make sure that what you’re baking doesn’t stick to the foil) and put in your preheated oven. Bake for about half an hour, then remove the foil and return the pan to the oven. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until the rolls are cooked and the sauce is bubbly.
That looks SO good! I wish I was eating it right now, but even the leftovers are long gone. The girls took them for their school lunch. It’s the perfect meal for when you need good food that’s easy to make! Add a salad or crunchy baby carrots- or even some canned mandarin oranges and you’ve got a simple meal that’s very tasty and satisfying. And, best of all, it’s just plain EASY!
2 C Chicken, cooked and shredded or finely chopped
1 C Cheese, shredded (most bags of pre-shredded cheese are about 2 cups- just check the package)
1/4 C Nacho Cheese Sauce or Salsa Con Queso
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 C Milk
1 t Onion Powder
1/2 t White Pepper
1/4-1/2 t Salt (if you’re using seasoned chicken, use the lesser amount)
2 Tubes Refrigerated Crescent Rolls
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Grease a 13×9 baking dish.
*In a small sauce pan, combine the soup, milk, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
*Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat to as low as you can get it.
*Add in one cup of the cheese and stir to melt.
*Spread a scant half cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
*Leave the rest of the sauce on very low heat.
*Combine the chicken, cheese sauce, and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
*Open and separate the crescent rolls. You can put out as many as you have room for on your clean work surface.
*Press the rolls gently to flatten slightly. Don’t mash them.
*Place about 1 tablespoon on the bottom of the wide part of the crescent.
*Fold the two bottom corners up and over the filling.
*Roll the crescent up, from bottom to top, as shown above.
*Continue with the rest of the rolls and filling, lining the parcels up in the pan as you go.
*Once done, cover the parcels with the rest of the sauce, top with the remaining cheese, and cover the dish with aluminum foil that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray (so the cheese doesn’t stick to it).
*Bake for about half an hour, remove the foil, and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes; until the rolls are cooked through and the sauce is bubbly.
*Remove from the oven and let sit 5-10 minutes to cool to a temperature that won’t sear your mouth 😉