Martian Food
Sep 18, 2015

The Martian will be in theaters on October 2nd, and the critics are saying it is a spectacular film. The novel,&n

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Active time:45 minutes

Start To Finish:1 hour, 15 minutes


Serving size: 8-10

Source: Cook's Country

For Kids, Comfort Food, Family Favorites, Casual
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12 oz. wide egg noodles
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onions, chopped fine
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2½ cups half-and-half
2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and trimmed
4 oz. deli American cheese, coarsely chopped
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1½ cups frozen peas
25 Ritz crackers, crushed coarse


Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 425°F.

Fill a large Dutch oven about three-quarter full of water and bring to a boil.  Add a generous amount of salt (about a tablespoon per gallon of water) and the noodles and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes or until the noodles are just al dente (do not overcook them.)  Drain, rinse with cold water until cool, then drain again.  Set aside.

In the now-empty pot, melt 1 Tbs. butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pot.  In the once-again empty pot, melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter then whisk in the flour.  Cook, whisking constantly, for one minute.  Starting slowly, whisk in the half-and-half and the chicken broth, making sure to whisk so that there are no lumps; bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes, or more, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.  Remove the pot from the heat, remove the chicken from the sauce and, once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces.  Add the cheeses to the sauce and whisk until smooth.  Add the shredded chicken, onions, noodles, peas, 1½ tsp. salt, and 1¼ tsp. pepper into the cheese sauce.  Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish (the Pillivuyt lasagna baker is perfect), top with the crackers, and bake until the crumbs are browned and the mixture is bubbly, about 15 minutes.  Let the casserole cool for about 10 minutes, then serve.


Marcella:  This is one of my grandson Elliot's favorite meals.  I always get a lot of special requests when I make it: some don't want peas, Elliot's sister doesn't like the Ritz cracker topping, etc. etc.  So I only add the peas after the casserole has been poured into the baking dish, then only put them in part of the dish.  And I leave the topping off part of the portion with the peas (because Eloise does like peas.)  You get the idea.

Serve this with a green salad, or with broccoli or asparagus tossed with olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and pepper, roasted in the oven after you take out the casserole.

The kids love to help crush the Ritz crackers:  put them in a resealable plastic bag (one for each child avoids fights), and let them have at it.

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