Thinking and writing about Chicken Divan last week got me thinking about other comfort foods and what makes them so comforting.
In my humble opinion, it comes down to two factors.
- Something creamy and starchy, or
- Something cheesy and sticky
For the cook, easy preparation is another important factor.
Besides Chicken Divan, our other family go-to comfort food is:
Abbie’s Chicken and Rice
Named for the friend who first introduced it to us. I’ve since learned it’s a staple on Campbell’s soup cans and on their website. I have no idea if our version is the same as Campbell’s. I’m including a picture from Campbell’s though and it looks pretty similar. I make a big batch of it because we love the leftovers.
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
3 cans of Campbell’s Cream of … soups (I usually use one Cream of Mushroom, one Cream of Chicken and one Cream of Celery. But I’ve used two of one and one of another in all combinations and it always tastes great. I’ve also heard some people add a packet of dry onion soup mix. I’m sure that’s yummy too.)
Combine the soups and the rice, pour into the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish.
Lay raw chicken breasts and or thighs on top.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper or your favorite chicken seasoning. Sometimes I sprinkle on some Pappy’s or other seasonings. Whatever strikes my fancy from the pantry. Lemon Pepper. Montreal Steak Seasoning. Madame Pele’s Heat. Sea salt. Fresh ground pepper. Really. Whatever.
Cover with foil.
Bake at 325 for 45 minutes to an hour. It can cook faster, but the slower and lower, the creamier the rice turns out.
This one is always a winner, especially on a winter evening after a hard day. Because sometimes we need a little comfort food.