I made a super yummy dinner tonight.
Chicken Bacon Pasta Casserole
I know it's a mouthful to say and I promise you will eat it and end up trying to talk with you mouth full. Words like, "Ohhhhhh" and "Hmmmmmm" and "Donn moot dat in da fwidgdth yed... I wann moe." (Isn't that how that would sound with your mouth stuffed full of yumminess? I think so anyways. Sorta like that.)
So when I'm in the cooking mode and I know something is going to come out stinkin' delicious I always momentarily think, "Oh, I should take pictures of the process like my Buddy Ree does." But then I just get too in the zone... and I cook when I'm already starving and therefore in a hurry and therefore decide, "Nahhh... I'd rather just get 'er done and eat this grubbin' good faire." Yup. That's the thought process behind the fact that I never ever have pictures of food that I am either making or have made. The only time I'd be able to get a picture is after the family has devoured half of it and you will all thank me and agree with me that a half-eaten crock of casserole is hardly an appetizing and alluring image of a food that you want someone else to try.
So in the absence of any real pictures of food I have decided that heretofore, due to my lack of patience with a camera during meal preparation, the picture below will be substituted for any real picture of food. You should thank me. What this does is force your underdeveloped (due to the sensory overload it endures day in and day out at the invisible hands of the internet and television monstrosity) imagination to exert its sorry little self.
See? I'm helping you.
You're welcome. Any time.
Now, for the recipe. And be advised that all amounts in pretty much any recipe I create are going to be "some of this and some of that" and "about this much" and "about that much" because when I am in the zone it's like art... I don't measure. Does an artist measure paint daubs? Don't answer that. If they do measure them I don't want to know about it because I am living in my dream world and using analogies to things with which I am wholly unfamiliar.
And now for the recipe!
And by the way, feel free to alter this thing until it makes you happy. Until it makes you sing (if casserole has a habit of doing that for you that is). Until it makes your olfactory glands explode with intense, never before felt emotion. And be aware while you are cooking this dish that, while it is delectably delicious and perfect for an Autumn evening, I do have a tendency to exaggerate just a wee tad... so if your olfactory glands and your taste buds don't actually break into the Tango, well... just blame it on my obsessive use of superlatives and my penchant for hyperbole.
And NOW for the recipe!
This is what I'll be sharing with you today:
Miss Nancy says to put on your thinking caps and try really hard to imagine what you believe to be the picture of overt yumminess. (Anyone remember Miss Nancy? From Romper room? She never said my name when she looked through her magic mirror, which we later discovered was just a handheld mirror with the mirror part removed... because if she did say my name, she'd be saying her name and what televised preschool teacher ever says "hello" to herself in a magic mirror? No. I'm not bitter. But thanks for asking.)
Got the picture in your head? Good. Now I can tell you the recipe.
First you gather your ingredients. These:
Plus whatever else you think would be good. Oh, and (((gasp))) I left out Butter. How could I have left out Butter? Oh well, I dare say Butter has enough friends that he's not dying for my attention anyways. That's why I'm not going back to change my formal ingredients list. It has nothing whatever to do with the fact that I'm too lazy to do it. No sir. It's just that I mostly don't want to raise Butter's Google page ranking. He already gets plenty of hits without me adding to the madness. Oops... and I forgot chicken broth too... but yup... still not feeling like editing my formal list. Sorry.
First you do all of your veggie chopping. That would be two veggies. The onions and the celery. Melt some butter (a few Tablespoons) in a deep skillet or dutch oven. I used my dutch oven because I'm lazy and want to wash less dishes. When the butter is almost all the way melted, throw in your onions and celery. Sauté them for several minutes until the onions are translucent. Next add in your corn. You may or may not need another little touch of butter. Continue cooking for several more minutes. While it cooks cut your chicken breasts (or thighs or whatever you've got) into cubes. When the onion mixture smells divine and the corn is cooked through remove to a bowl.
Right about this time you'll want to start a pot of water boiling and cook your vermicelli noodles.
Again, if you need to add just a bit more butter to cook the chicken in, do so now. I usually like to use a little bit of butter and canola oil instead of all butter as it seems to not be as likely to burn. But do as you please on that front. Brown the chicken until almost done. Now add your bacon pieces, your fresh minced herbs as well as salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir and then add a few Tablespoons of white cooking wine and cook for another couple of minutes. Throw the corn/onion mixture back into the skillet/dutch oven followed by the cooked and drained vermicelli noodles.
Give it another good stir. Now add the abomination that causes atrial fibulations, your cream of mushroom soup, and then the sour cream, followed by the cheese. Stir all of this madness up together like as unto a witch stirring her evil bubbling gruel. Make sure to reserve some of the cheese to sprinkle on top. For what would a casserole be without a crustified crown of cheese, I ask? What?!
When it is mixed well and topped with cheese, sprinkle some paprika on it and place it in a 350° oven and cook for about 30 - 40 minutes. In my dutch oven it only needed 30 minutes to become piping hot.
And this folks... THIS is what it will look like when it's all done!