Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All-In-One Thanksgiving Dinner: Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

As the days get shorter and colder, more and more signs that the holiday season is quickly approaching begin to pop up everywhere. Stores are already decorating for Christmas. Reminders to order your Thanksgiving turkey are in grocery stores and farmers markets. And when we were visiting friends last weekend, their 5-year old was already watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special on DVD (I had to applaud her for that one, it’s one of my favorites and always makes me happy, no matter what time of year I see it). 

But the cooler temperatures and leafless trees trigger more than the desire to bundle up, they also stir up cravings for comfort food. One of my favorite types of comfort food is casseroles (or hot dishes as they are typically called in Minnesota). So after I closed all the windows and flipped the switch for heat in the house, I dove into the casserole section of The Found Recipe Box to see what I could find. And I found just the recipe to get us all in the mood for the upcoming November holiday: Chicken & Stuffing Casserole.

This is yet another very simple recipe to prepare: throw some chicken breasts in a baking dish, cover them with Swiss cheese, stir the stuffing mixture, pour it over the top of the chicken, and then throw it in the oven. The hardest part is waiting the two hours for it to bake. But it was well worth the wait. Upon first bite, my husband and I both agreed that it tasted just like Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing missing was a side of cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie (or perhaps pumpkin chiffon pie – either version 1 or version 2 from The Found Recipe Box). The only change we’d make is to skip the Swiss cheese layer the next time. 

If you’re looking for a way to get into the spirit if the holidays without stepping foot into a store that is all lit up and that bombards you with the smell of cinnamon pine cones, pop this dish into the oven. Soon your home will be enveloped in the aroma of Thanksgiving and even the first bite will warm you up enough to ward off the winter cool down for just a little longer. It’s a great way to enjoy all the senses of the season without all the stress that comes along with preparing a full Thanksgiving meal. And if that doesn’t put you in the holiday mood, pop in the Charlie Brown Christmas DVD – it always fills my heart with that warm, loving light of the season. 

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