I was looking through an old cookbook I bought in 1986, The Best of the West – Westwood First, of Course.  Westwood is a suburb of Cincinnati.  The book was published by the Westwood First Presbyterian Church and is filled with homey recipes submitted by members of a self-described “eating church”.

I was looking for a casserole that would use some cooked chicken, frozen mixed vegetables and some Cincinnati light rye bread.  I started to make the dish and realized that in 1986, Westwood loved cheese and butter – a lot.  I adapted the recipe to make it acceptable for our diets and I like the resulting casserole.  It’s comfort food at its best.

HENNY PENNY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

  • 1/4 cup melted margarine or butter
  • 2 cups soft bread cubes (I used light Cincinnati rye bread)
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, cooked according to package directions, drained
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F.  Butter or spray a 2-quart casserole.

In a large skillet, melt the butter/margarine and add bread cubes, tossing to coat.

Reserve 1/2 cup of bread cubes.  Place remaining cubes on the bottom of the casserole dish.

Spoon cooked mixed vegetables over the top of the bread cubes.

Spread shredded chicken over the mixed vegetables.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and cold milk.  Add the chicken broth and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for two more minutes, whisking continually.

Stir in the grated cheese and pour sauce over the chicken in the casserole.  Dot with remaining bread cubes.

Bake covered @ 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes more.

Servings:  4 to 6

This is a really delicious casserole and the addition of the rye bread cubes gives it a special flavor kick.