Chicken Bowtie Casserole
I didn’t really know what else to call this, so here is the scoop: condensed cream soups (cream of mushroom, chicken, celery, etc.) are impossible to find in Germany and I prefer not to use them when possible. Many casserole recipes or things I picture from childhood potlucks and gatherings include one or two cans of these soups, so I usually have to find a substitution. In the US, I mentioned before that I would use the Pacific brand cream of mushroom (they also maybe have chicken) soups in the carton. They work well if you want to use them. If not, I’ve done the hard work for you and basically adapted an old chicken spaghetti casserole recipe into the creation below. It is a bit of work (If you can’t access condensed soup), but it is family friendly and tasty!
- 8-10oz pasta, preferably bowtie/farfalle (I used about half of a 500g box, making it 250g or about 9oz)
- 1 small carton heavy cream* (you probably won’t use the whole thing)
- 1 small carton crème fraîche, double cream, or mascarpone*
- chicken boullion powder or cube*
- 2-3 stalks celery, finely sliced*
- chicken, diced or shredded, about a pound
- 1 small jar or can sliced mushrooms, drained
- 1 small jar or can sliced olives, drained
- 1 small or medium onion, chopped
- 1 small jar pimento (I had to just buy jarred red pepper and dice it myself)
- 8-12 oz shredded cheese (I used mozarella)
*So, as for the * ingredients. If you want, just sub a can of cream of celery or mushroom soup and a bit of milk if you’re in the US and want to. If not, you’ll have to do the work below.
- If you haven’t already, cook and dice or shred your chicken. I cooked mine in a skillet so it would flavor the pan. Remove the chicken to another plate.
- In that skillet I added some butter and sautéed the celery and onions until lightly browned. I then added the equivalent chicken boullion for 2 cups of water. I added maybe 1/2 to 1 cup of water to deglaze the pan and reduced it until there wasn’t much left. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of cream and let it all reduce until it looks like a thick sauce, add in the crème fraîche, double cream, or mascarpone. If you taste it now it should taste a tiny bit too salty and should have a nice creamy texture. Add a splash of milk if it is too thick.
- Cook the pasta for about 1 minute less than the package directions say. Mine said 10 minutes so I did 9. Drain.
- In a large bowl mix all the ingredients (chicken, pasta, mushrooms, olives, pimento, cheese, sauce with celery and onions) until well combined. Add a splash more milk if it is too dry.
- Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 350 F (175 C) for about 45 minutes until slightly browned and crispy on the top.
Serve with a nice salad or some raw veggies on the side. Even the toddler loved his with a side of cherry tomatoes.