For a while I’ve been craving a dish my mother has made a few times, which was a simple chicken bake with Stove Top stuffing and cheese. I finally decided to try to tackle this myself, but there are about a hundred recipes for this and the original calls for broccoli. (I don’t actually hate broccoli, but it has to be cooked down to the point of losing all texture and preferably all flavor. And anyway I prefer cauliflower by a mile.)
Sunday night I made the plunge. This was my recipe for the first attempt, after modifying a recipe I found online. It did not come out perfect, so I’m sharing this for reference purposes only, and welcome feedback from experienced cooks. This is how I made it for just me and my wife, so I used less chicken than the online recipes normally call for. If I made this for a bigger meal I’d probably just up the amount of chicken to six breasts along with any other changes.
Cheesy Stove Top chicken bake, Mark I
- 1/2 or whole stick butter
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 3 cups Stove Top chicken stuffing mix
- 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 8 slices American cheese
Add melted butter to 13″x9″ baking dish. Add chicken, cut into strips. Preheat oven to 375° and prepare stuffing according to package directions. Mix soup and milk in a bowl, then pour over chicken. Cover with cheese. Cover with stuffing. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes.
This did not come out entirely as I intended. I felt it could have used a little more cheese, but that wasn’t really bad. The stuffing to chicken ratio was high, though I like it that way, and as I said I cut down on the amount of chicken because I was only cooking for two. (In hindsight though, I should have used more if only because I was really cooking for seven. Chicken can’t be eaten in this house without sharing.) There were really only a couple of problems.
First, the stuffing was too moist. It lacked any firm texture or browning. Some of this could have been rectified by removing the foil late in the cooking process. But I also wonder if preparing the stuffing in advance, which was a pain anyway, was worth the effort. Maybe adding more butter, possibly more milk, and just including the dry stuffing mix would have been good enough.
The other problem was that the chicken was a little dry. This may have been because the breasts were frozen, and had to be thawed in the microwave. If they had been thawed in advance the result might have been better. Indeed the original recipe called for cooking at 350°, and I only upped the temperature to make sure it would cook through.
I didn’t mind the chicken being a little dry, personally, but the unbrowned, overly moist stuffing wasn’t ideal. It was perfectly yummy, but it looked extremely unsavory. (Let’s leave it at that.) I believe I’ll make the following adjustments the next time, pending any feedback to the contrary:
- Just add the stuffing mix unprepared, but push it down into the soup/milk mixture.
- Increase the milk content by another half cup to compensate, or add that much water.
- Use a full stick of butter.
- Add a little more cheese.
- Remove the foil 5 minutes before baking is finished.
I think that will result in a much more satisfactory meal.