I can hardly believe it myself, you guys, but it is 100% true. You might remember from this blog (or this one) that I generally do not consider myself an expert in the kitchen. I made a dinner that was so delicious, my kids asked for seconds. And then they asked for thirds. And my daughter even asked for fourths. She might have even asked for fifths and sixths but I finally had to cut her off so we’d still have leftovers by the time Ian got home from work. My son even offered to clear my place at the table as a thank you “for being such an AMAZING cook.”
Since I so rarely have such great success in the kitchen, I thought I would share the recipe.
It was more than my usual amount of prep work, and I am not good at multitasking in the kitchen so it took me a while to prepare. Don’t feel like you need to follow the recipe exactly. Add, substitute, or omit as much as you like.
Kari’s AMAZING chicken & stuffing casserole
(Makes two 9×13 pans. Serves 4 with lots and lots of leftovers)
2 packages Hormel breakfast sausage links
1 box chocolate chip pancake mix
2 bags brownberry sage & onion stuffing mix
3 cups chicken stock
3 sticks plus 1 Tablespoon butter
1 red onion, diced
1 cup chopped fresh celery (approximately)
1 package fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 pounds chicken breasts
3 packets of turkey gravy mix, prepared according to instructions* (or whatever the equivalent volume of pre-prepared gravy would be. I have no idea how much that is but it was about half the volume of my favorite saucepan. So.)
The night before you will make this casserole, prepare the sausage links and pancake mix according to the instrucions. Eat the pancakes and half of the sausage. Save the other half of the sausage in the fridge overnight.**
-Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
-Gather all the ingredients to make sure you have everything.
-Realize you forgot the chicken stock.
-Put all the ingredients back into the fridge and the cupboards so the dogs don’t eat them.
-Go to the store to get chicken stock. While you are there, also buy at least 4 other items which you want, but do not need.
-Upon returning home, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a non-stick frying pan. Sautee*** the onion, celery, and mushrooms.
-Meanwhile, bring the 3 cups chicken stock and 3 sticks of butter to a boil in a very large pot. I used the one we use to make pasta.
-Add the stuffing mix to the pot and stir well until all the liquid has been absorbed by the bread.
-Add the sauteed veggies to the stuffing and stir well.
-Cut the sausage links into small pieces. Add to the stuffing.
-Cut the chicken breasts into cubes & fry in the pan you used for the veggies (so you don’t have to wash an extra pan).
-When cooked, spread the chicken evenly in two 9×13 cakepans.
-Spoon the stuffing mix evenly over the chicken. Smooth out the stuffing layer with the spatula you used to cook the veggies, not the one you used for the chicken. Because you don’t want salmonella do you?
-Pour half of the gravy over each pan, spreading as evenly as possible.
-Realize that you forgot to change the temperature on the oven since you made pizza earlier this week, so the oven has actually been pre-heated to 450 degrees since before you went to the store. No wonder it’s so warm in here.
-Turn the oven temperature down to 350. Leave the oven door open for a minute or two to let out some of the heat.
-Bake both pans of casserole for about 30 minutes or until someone says “is something burning?”.
-Allow the casserole to cool on the stove top while you microwave the veggies you forgot that you were going to make. (We had some of those steam-in-the-bag vegetables, so it worked out to be just the right amount of time.)
-Serve & enjoy! (Don’t forget to save some for Ian)
*I’m sorry I don’t remember what these instructions are, or what ingredients are required. I threw away the packages before it occured to me that my recipe might be good enough to share.
**If you need to save time, you can omit the pancake mix & half the sausage, and just cook one package of sausage while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients. But then you don’t get to eat sausage & chocolate chip pancakes for dinner and where’s the fun in that? Also, it’s easier to cut the sausage into pieces if it’s cold.
*** Or would it be “saute” if you’re a man? You know like “fiancee (woman)/fiance (man)”? I didn’t take French in school so I don’t really know if the gender distinction applies here but I didn’t want to exclude anyone. The point is, this recipe can be prepared by all genders.