Today I’m going to talk about a dish that’s definitely a product of the 80’s Campbell’s soup recipe generation of moms. My own mother,who gained that venerable title in the auspicious year of 1984 (you know, when I was born), made it regularly when I was growing up. It’s super simple and uses ingredients that I will forever stock in my pantry, making it the perfect dinner when I am running late and have no time to actually cook. It also makes good leftovers, which is a big plus for next-day work lunches. It is decidedly not gourmet in any sense of the word, but it is tasty, comforting, and evokes nostalgia for my early days in the kitchen, before I learned how to make anything from scratch. I had never roasted a chicken, didn’t know what fresh ginger or shallots were, and I still didn’t eat salad. However, I loved chicken, and I loved noodles, which made this a perfect dish.
Later, when I lived in my first college house and had my own kitchen, I would make it for my roommate, Mary Rose, who would later dub it “Good Chicken”. Of course, she had her own picky eater requests and asked me to omit a certain ingredient – sour cream. For reasons beyond comprehension, MR, as she’s affectionately known, had a blanket prohibition on white foods and condiments. No cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. As a (former) picky eater myself, I would not judge her for this – but ended up getting her to eat sour cream without realizingit. To me, Good Chicken was just not a sgood without it. So, when MR wasn’t looking, I would sneak a dollop or a scoop of sour cream into the mixture. Over time, I incrementally increased the amount until it was exactly the way I liked it. She would down an entire bowl and head back for seconds. I felt so devious. When I finally revealed my deception, I don’t think she was surprised in the least – which was probably a little bit of a letdown for me. We agreed that I could put the sour cream in Good Chicken as long as she didn’t see me do it. I am proud to report that today, when Mary Rose makes Good Chicken, she adds that big dollop of tangy sour cream herself. I’m so proud!
So, without further delay, I present the least gourmet dish that I will continue to make for the rest of my life.
1 package of chicken breasts or tenderloins
2 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
½ to ¾ cups sour cream
1 cup of dry white wine
Combine soup, sour cream, and wine in a casserole dish and stir until mixed. Set chicken in mixture and spoon sauce over the top. Cove rthe casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15 minutes (reduce cooking time by 15 mins or so for tenderloins) until chicken is lightly browned.
Serve over egg noodles or pasta. Mary Rose and I usecavatappi because it traps the creamy sauce so well.