Thursday, November 10, 2011

Poppyseed Chicken (Cream of Chicken Soup-Free)

Prep time: Easy (though a little harder than using a can of cream of chicken soup)

This is Mahon's favorite meal ever. I haven't made it a lot in the last two years because I've really stopped using cream of chicken soup base, and don't make a lot of casseroles at all, but I made it the other day for his birthday and came up with a way to do it canned-soup-free. It's still not what I'd term a "health food," and the Ritz crackers on top still (obviously) put it squarely in the camp of "processed food." Though I have to say, unhealthy as they may be, the crackers really make the meal. Seriously. So good. This recipe yields a small-ish casserole and would serve about 4-5 adults.

2 large chicken breasts, thawed and cubed
2 T butter
2 T flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 t parsley
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 T poppy seeds
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
3 T butter

Heat oven to 375. Cube thawed chicken and place in medium casserole dish. In small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 T butter. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, till bubbly and thick (about 1-2 minutes). Whisk in milk and let cook another 2 minutes or so (mixture will thicken quickly; stir constantly to keep it smooth). Add chicken broth, parsley, pepper, and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 more minutes. Pour over chicken in casserole dish. Add sour cream and 1 T poppy seeds; mix everything together until creamy and well-combined. Cover dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and chicken is cooked through. While chicken is cooking, crush Ritz crackers in medium bowl and add remaining 3 T butter and 1 T poppy seeds. (If the butter isn't soft, go ahead and stick the whole bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds.) Mix everything together. When chicken is cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle cracker mix on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve over rice.


  1. We love poppy seed chicken! It's good with cornflakes on top too, though I think Ritz crackers would be the absolute best.

  2. Mahon HATES cold cereal so we never have cornflakes on top of anything! I do like the ritz crackers best with this dish though. Just never try bran cereal... shudder... bad experience there! ;)

  3. Do I have poppyseeds??? And are you prejudiced against cream of chicken soup????

  4. Uh, I have no idea if you have poppyseeds, why on earth are you asking me??? LOL. And I sort of swore of cream of chicken soup over the last year or so. Not a huge reason... I just sort of found out I really didn't need it, and I've always thought it was kind of gross anyway! So it's sort of a budget/health/taste/laziness solution.

  5. Cindy!! I have been making this recipe of yours about once a week for the past few months ever since I found it, and my family and I LOVE IT! So delicious and so much healthier and better tasting then the cream of versions, seriously. It's my go to recipe and I just wanted to tell you thank you for posting it! My family and their tummies thank you too, we just had this for dinner last night and looking forward to the leftovers today! All the best! :)

    1. Shayna, I'm so glad! It's my hubby's absolute favorite meal.