Monday, October 24, 2011

Chicken Stuffed Shells

Chicken Stuffed Shells
Last week I was leafing thru my mother's recipe box.  I took it from my dad's house after she died and I consider it one of my prize possessions. Many of the recipes are written in her own hand on 2x4 cards or fancy "from the kitchen of.." recipe cards someone once gave her. There are a bunch of blank ones in the back of the box, yellow with age, waiting to be used.  Each recipe brings back childhood memories: smells,  meal times, occasions. Some of them I'm sure were copied from woman's magazines of the day. Like this one.

Mom  tried to use left overs in creative ways. This one used the roasted Sunday chicken, canned mushroom soup, onions, peas and mayo. Simple, few ingredients, and plenty to feed a family of seven. I remember liking it quite a bit.  I decided to  give it a try next time I roasted a chicken.

This, with a tossed salad was dinner tonight. I decided that it needed an update from the rather bland, sixties presentation. I added fresh mushrooms, a little garlic, some diced red pepper,some shredded Gruyere cheese and substituted light sour cream for the mayo.  Clark couldn't stop eating it and before he left the table 1/2 of the 13x 9 pan was gone.  A decided hit!

 Ingredients

2 cups diced cook chicken
 1 Tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
4 oz fresh mushrooms, diced
1 glove of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese (any sharp cheese will do)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 can  low sodium cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1 12 oz package of jumbo shells, cooked and drained per package directions (I used about 24 of them)

Directions

1) Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and red pepper. Saute, stirring until vegetables are soft. Add peas and cook until peas have thawed.
2) Remove from heat. Stir in chicken, salt and pepper and sour cream.
3) Spray the bottom of a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.
4) Carefully stuff a spoonful of the mixture into about 24 shells.
5) Mix  water and mushroom soup together in a small bowl and pour over shells.
6) Sprinkle shells with mixture of grated Parmesan and panko bread crumb on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover, turn on the broiler and broil until lightly brown.

Note: The original recipe called for the whole box of shells...I had plenty left over. Also I added the cheese/bread crumb topping for a little color. You can leave it out.

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