About a week ago, we were driving home from the mall when we realized we had forgotten to buy a small notebook that our daughter needed for one of her classes. Why it had to be a small notebook (which is harder to find) beats me. We mulled over confronting the picky teacher who does not seem to realize that whims like that should have no place in a responsible educational system.
Anyway, we were on Marcos Highway going in the direction of Sumulong Highway and the only bookstore in the area was Pandayan, just beside CVC Supermarket. The good news was that they had small notebooks. The better news was that they had second-hand cookbooks at rock-bottom prices. I bought two, one of which was Hurry-up Chicken Recipes. It turned out to be a goldmine of practical ideas.
The first recipe I did is called Dairyland Confetti Chicken a creamy chicken casserole with a bread topping sprinkled with shredded cheese. “Confetti” describes the just-melted shredded cheese on top. I kind over melted the cheese on mine so the “confetti” became “melty.” The difference in looks notwithstanding, the result was wonderful. It has the feel of home cooking written all over it. And the bread topping? It’s oil-free.
To make this baked chicken dish, I had to make some substitutions in deference to the low-fat diet that we’re trying to maintain at home. Yogurt for cream of chicken soup; low-fat milk for regular milk. To make the casserole, pour the chicken broth into a pan and heat. Add the carrot cubes, chopped onion, and celery (and mushrooms, if using fresh; otherwise, add the mushrooms at the same time as the chicken) and cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken cubes (and mushrooms if using canned). Pour in the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper. Cook just until heated through. Transfer to an oven-proof baking dish.
To make the topping, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the rest of the ingredients (reserve about 1/4 c. of cheddar cheese) and mix just until blended (do NOT overmix!). Drop by tablespoonfuls on top of the prepared chicken casserole. Bake in a preheated 175oC oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the reserved cheese on top, return to the oven, and bake just until the cheese melts.