When I was a kid, Mrs. Grass Chicken Noodle Soup Mix was a hit. I think it was one of the first freeze-dried products available. It came with a little “magic egg,” called the Golden Flavor Nugget, that you placed in the pot along with the contents that were being rehydrated. We’d carefully watch as the egg dissolved, knowing that when it was gone, it was soup! The novelty of the product allowed us to forgive the taste…or lack thereof.
I wonder if anyone buys Lipton Onion Soup Mix and makes and serves it as just soup. I don’t think I’ve every talked with anyone who, after eating a bowl of onion soup made from a mix says, “Now that’s good soup!” Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s ever even done it.
I’ll admit it. I’ve tried it once or twice when there’s been nothing else in the house to eat. When you’ve had "real" soup, the stuff made from a mix is pretty awful. And how about the sodium content? Oh baby! If you were able to down all 32 oz. of the soup made from one packet, you’d rack up 100% of your daily value of sodium! According to the nutrition facts on the box, even a single one-cup serving is 25%, and 8 oz. is not a lot of soup.
Even the more "gourmet" dried soup mixes leave a lot to be desired. Knorr makes a great soup mix. Only it’s not very good as just soup. But mix it with sour cream for a dip, or with other ingredients in a meat loaf or pot roast or in hamburgers, and something magical happens. It creates a new flavor combination that causes taste buds to sit up and take notice.
Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup leaves something to be desired when it’s made as just soup. Keep in mind that this is after you’ve had “real” mushroom soup. But put it with chicken or in a green bean casserole, and it borders on “cuisine.” Well, poor man’s cuisine, anyway.
That’s what There’s a Dad in the Kitchen is all about. This week’s recipe is as easy as it gets. It truly lives up to the mission of this blog: “Basic recipes with simple ingredients…so easy, even a dad can do it.” You’re going to love this one!
Fellow Dad in the Kitchen, Rob Brunner and I made this for the weekly Alpha Course and Journey Kids groups at Parker Ford Church. We started with 16 lbs. of chicken, so the photos below reflect “mass quantities.”
CHICKEN IN CREAM SAUCE
3-4 lbs. of chicken (combination of boneless, skinless breasts and thighs)
2 cans (10 oz.) Cream of Mushroom condensed soup
1 pkg. of dry onion soup mix*
1 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon dill weed
For the Buttered Noodles"
1 lb. wide egg noodles
2 Tablespoons butter
*The original recipe called for two packages of dry onion soup mix. This resulted in a sauce that was a little too salty for me. I recommend using only one package. For a stronger tasting sauce, use two.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Trim any excess fat from the chicken pieces and arrange them in a single layer on the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish. For our Alpha dinner, we used three 12"x20" foil pans. Even with those three spacious pans, we still had to partially layer a portion of each piece of chicken on top of another. This was not a problem if your baking dish isn't quite large enough.
Combine all other ingredients, incorporating them until they are well-blended. (Do not make the soup according to directions on the can. Just add the can’s contents.) The bowl to the right is huge! It's 15" across. For the Tuesday night group, we used 8 cans of mushroom soup, 8 packages of onion soup mix and four cups of sour cream! I forgot to add the dill weed to the sauce and sprinkled it on top as it went into the oven. It was good, but would have been better blended into the sauce.
Slather the sauce mixture over top of all of the chicken pieces with a spatula, coating them liberally. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.
While the chicken is baking, prepare the buttered noodles. Cook noodles in a generous amount of lightly salted water for the prescribed time recommended for the al dente level of doneness. Drain the noodles and return them to the pot used for cooking. Add about 2 Tablespoons of butter to the still hot noodles and toss until they are well-coated. Try to time the cooking of the noodles to coincide with when the chicken will be ready.
|It's hard to see if there is any chicken under there, but|
there is...and it's tender and juicy!
After the chicken has cooked, if possible, remove some of the sauce from the baking dish and blend it with a hand whisk. If it’s too thick, add a little milk. This sauce can be used on any chicken pieces that are no longer coated, as well as over the buttered noodles. I also chose to serve the ever-popular green bean casserole. We also had a fresh greens salad and rolls.
I’m thinking that this recipe could also be made in a crock-pot. Imagine how tender and flavorful the chicken would be after a day of slow cooking in this sauce!