I go back and forth as to what meal I usually take to families with new babies. What doesn’t tend to change are the sides and dessert. I make the mandarin orange green salad and pan rolls that I’ve mentioned here before as well as the Theta Shoppe vanilla bars. For the main course I make either chicken pot pie or Chicken D’Iberville. Both have the advantage of making enough for both the family with the new baby as well as my own family’s dinner.
This time I opted for Chicken D’Iberville. Here’s the recipe.
2 3 lb. whole chickens
1 c. water
1 c. dry sherry
2 celery stalks
1 onion, quartered
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
2 pkgs. long-grain and wild rice mix
½ c. butter
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1 6 oz. can French-fried onions, crushed
¼ c. butter, melted
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. garlic powder
Bring first 9 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until chickens are done. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven. Let chicken cool. Pour broth through a fine wire mesh strainer into an 8-cup liquid measuring cup. Discard solids.
Cook rice according to package directions, substituting 4 ¼ c. reserved broth for water and omitting butter. Add water to broth to equal 4 ¼ c. if necessary.
Skin, bone, and coarsely chop or shred chicken.
Melt ½ c. butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add mushrooms and green onions, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spoon mixture into one 9×13 pan and one 8×8 pan.
Stir together crushed crackers and fried onions. Stir in ¼ c. melted butter, paprika, and garlic powder. Sprinkle casserole evenly with cracker mixture.
Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until bubbly.
To make ahead: cover casseroles tightly with foil, and freeze unbaked up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Bake as directed. Casserole may be baked frozen, but double cooking time.
To cut prep time: Purchase 2 deli-roasted chickens. Use 1 c. dry sherry and 3 ¼ c. prepared chicken broth to cook rice.
My other favorite recipe for taking ot new moms is Chicken Pot Pie, or as one friend’s husband dubbed it, “Better Than Sex Chicken Pot Pie.” I think that could be the direct result of my taking it to them during the immediate postpartum time period. Double the recipe to make one for a friend and one for your own family. When I do that, I buy two prepared nine-inch pie crusts from the freezer section plus one package of Pilsbury refrigerated pie crusts. Use the frozen crusts for the base and top with the Pilsbury crusts.
1 10 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. chopped onions
1 potato, peeled and diced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 ¾ c. chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
3 c. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 pie crusts (9 in.)
In a large skillet, melt butter and add onions, potato, flour, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until bubbly, remove from heat. Stir in chicken broth and milk. Stir constantly and heat to boiling. Boil one minute while stirring. Stir in veggies and chicken.
Prepare bottom pie crust and pour chicken mixture into crust. Add top crust and crimp edges or pie. Prick top of crust.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Chicken pot pies can also be frozen before baking for use later. When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator and bake as directed above.