Friday, July 07, 2006

Accidental chicken soup

Moving on in my experiment, but staying within the 1970s collective cookbook genre, I chose a chicken and crabmeat casserole from The Best of Home Economics Teachers Bicentennial Cookbook. Finding a recipe that didn't call for a can or two of soup took some effort. (I thought that was mostly a '50s and '60s thing.) I followed the instructions pretty closely. The rosemary was fresh from our garden.

The recipe:

"Chicken-Crab Meat Rosemary"

2 T. chopped union
1/2 c. butter
7 T. flour
3/4 t. salt [omitted]
3/4 t. paprika
1 T crushed rosemary
2 c. chicken broth [one can (lowfat and law salt), a bit less than 2 c.]
2 c. sour cream [nonfat]
3 c. chopped cooked chicken [store bought; see below]
2 6 1/2 oz. cans crab meat, flaked
1 1/2 c. avocado chunks with lemon juice
1 c. buttered coarse toast crumbs [omitted]

Saute onion in butter in saucepan until golden. Blend in flour, salt, paprika and rosemary; heat until bubbly. Remove from heat; add chicken broth gradually. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream, small amount at a time. Add chicken and crab meat. Add avocado; mix well. Pour into 2-quart baking dish; cover with crumbs. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; garnish with parsley or watercress. Serve immediately Yield: 8 servings.

The execution:

Everything looked good to go when I put it in the oven. Thirty minutes later, it was still runny. Fifteen minutes after that, a golden crust had formed but mostly it was still runny. So we called it soup.

The verdict:

For the grown-ups, it required a serious shot of habanero sauce to make it work. Tucker ate most of his straight up. But this one is not worth repeating. It reminds me too much of high school home ec class: all it needed was whitebread toast to call it Chicken a la King.

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