Easy-to-make comfort food at its best, this family friendly chicken dish has stood the test of time…and got a little lighter along the way!
I was in high school when I scribbled the following recipe on a piece of pink scrap paper as my grandmother prepared it in her kitchen. That was the original Fountain Avenue Kitchen－and believe it or not, I still have that little piece of paper.
Over the years, I’ve modified the dish, which I think of as a warm chicken salad (but better thanks to the crunchy topping!) to make it lighter and more in line with 21st century tastebuds, so to speak.
If you cook extra chicken one night, this meal will come together in minutes and I’m hopeful you will enjoy it as much as my family does. Below the recipe, I’ve linked two simple ways to produce extra cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken may also be used for those who enjoy that convenience.
I first posted this recipe years ago when my Fountain Avenue Kitchen Facebook page hit 925 “likes.” At the time, most would have considered 1,000 to be the more anticipated milestone. The slightly lower number, however, matched my grandparents’ street number on Fountain Avenue, so it had meaning to me.
Truly, when I began this labor of love, I had no expectations. I figured I’d share recipes that worked for my family with hopes that they might help a friend on a busy night. Who would have thought that roughly 64,000 more people would have clicked on that little “like” button since. Or that I would have the pleasure of connecting with so many loyal readers. That’s definitely the best part.
Because my photo-taking skills have improved somewhat over the years, I snapped a few new pictures recently. For the fun of it, however, I didn’t delete the decidedly inferior shot.
Readers occasionally send a photo of a recipe they made and enjoyed (which I love to see!), and they sometimes comment that their picture didn’t look as pretty as mine. I always say that it doesn’t matter what the finished product looks like as long as it tastes good. (And my plates don’t look picture perfect every night, that’s for sure!)
Ultimately, I think we deserve the bigger pat on the back for getting dinner on the table in the first place. Night after night, it’s not always easy. My hope is that a regular stream of doable, family-friendly recipes will make that task a little easier. We’re all in this together, right?
As an added note, this is a great dish to bake and serve in individual ramekins. Depending on size, adjust the cooking time down to 15 minutes or so.
- 2 lightly rounded cups cubed, cooked chicken
- 2 cups diced or thinly sliced celery (include leaves if you have them)
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (I like 2%; may use whole or nonfat)*
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 1 scant tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds (optional)
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ⅓ cup crumbled potato chips (or a few more to taste)
Combine all of the ingredients except the cheese and potato chips. Pile lightly into 1½ quart casserole (no need to grease). Sprinkle with cheese, then with chips.
Bake at 400℉ for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Check midway and cover lightly with foil if chips are already nicely browned.
*My grandmother’s original recipe called for all mayonnaise (⅔ cup) and no Greek yogurt. She also used more lemon juice. If you prefer to make the all-mayo version, feel free to add additional lemon juice to taste, as the Greek yogurt supplies its own element of tang. Do taste as you go, however. The lemon juice adds dimension to the flavor, but a little goes a long way.