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Betty Allen’s Favorite Chicken Casserole

May 7, 2016

Betty Allen is a fantastic cook of southern heritage who grew up near Tallahassee Florida. For my senior year of high school (1969-1970) I lived an hour away over in Blountstown, so I know that heritage a bit.

But I first met her when my then boyfriend and I started going to Trinity Presbyterian Church in 1975, which was founded by Betty’s husband, Don Allen. I should say founded by the Allens with a lot of help from God and the people who became charter members in 1963.

Don was the minister we chose to marry us in May 1976. In 1980, Don finally persuaded us to  finally join Trinity. We were never in a house church with them (like a small group but with a mission focus) so I never really got to know Betty during those years.

Soon after we joined they left for a new pastorate serving Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. Eventually Don and Betty retired and returned to the Shenandoah Valley in the late 1990s and ever since, I have been in the same house church with Don and have enjoyed finally getting to know Betty, although she belonged to a different house church for many years, until health issues got in the way.

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Betty and Don Allen

This woman is one of a kind both as a pastor’s wife and host. I love the tea carts she prepares when we meet at their house, and especially love her always delicious Chicken Casserole which is a standard fall back if she needs to take a covered dish somewhere. Without further ado:

ChickenCasserole3

Betty Allen’s Favorite Chicken Casserole

Bottom portion

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped/shredded
2 cans cream of chicken soup (low sodium, or make your own for healthier options)
2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
½ cup mayonnaise
4-5 boiled eggs, peeled and diced
4 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix all together. Pour into greased 9 x 12 baking dish.

Topping

Combine:

1 small (2 oz or so) package slivered almonds
1 bag (14 oz) Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing
2 teaspoons butter or margarine melted

Stir topping together and spread out on top of chicken and creamed soup mixture in baking dish.

Bake in 325 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, until center bubbles like it is good and hot. Place foil on top of the pan if casserole gets too brown.

Let set 10 minutes and serve. Serves 6-8.

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If you’re not familiar with Whatever Happened to Dinner, and all the recipes it includes, check the link.

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From → Faith, Food, Recipes

11 Comments
  1. What’s better than good ole Southern country cookin’ – except maybe Lancaster County fare.

    I love the idea of a tea cart + the reminder to put slivered almonds on my grocery list. Happy Mother’s Day, Melodie!

    • Sorry for no response yet here–I was mostly off line enjoying Mother’s day weekend.

      You would enjoy the paintings and antiques that Betty Allen enjoys in her home. She has a wonderful eye for arrangements, beauty, and loves to use whatever fresh flowers she has on hand to add a pop of color to a table or stand. But not in a stuffy or “keep your hands off” way. She’s a hands-on lover of beauty wherever it is found.

  2. Beverly Silver permalink

    Lovely, Melodie. Thanks for the story and recipe!

  3. Athanasia permalink

    Melodie, I had to go back and read the what is a house church post as I couldn’t figure that out. I was wondering also what do you do if visitors show up at the church building and no one’s there! Well, you explained that too 🙂

    I like chicken casseroles, most casseroles, actually. Church meal Sunday there is always a wide variety to choose from. We had one lady who when I was younger always made a 7 can Chinese chicken casserole …you were sure to receive it when you had a baby or were sick. It was delicious. We mix a chicken stuffing casserole often on Saturday and then bake it Sunday. It is my mother in law’s recipe, but no canned soups etc…just chicken, bread cubes, vegetables, broth and (uncooked, not boiled) eggs and butter.

    • The 7 can Chinese concoction sounds interesting. And yes, all of these are great to mix on Sat. and bake on Sunday. Your mother-in law’s method sounds interesting too–I guess you are saying she stirs in raw eggs to the mix. That makes sense too! In fact, I maybe would like that more than the boiled chopped eggs. If you feel like sharing the recipe sometime, I wouldn’t mind seeing it but don’t want to put you to too much bother.

      • Athanasia permalink

        Melodie, there is no written recipe. It depends on the size of your pan. I usually use the 9×13 pyrex pan, grease it. Saute onions and celery in butter (probably a cup each plus 1 stick of butter). Fill pan with cut up/torn up dry bread and cup up chicken, as much chicken as you want to use. Add the cooked vegetables. Beat 3-4 eggs into 2 cups broth, then pour over ingredients in pan. Mix up. Add more broth if seems like it needs it. Depends on how long your bread has dried out. Bake 350 F for about 45 mins till puffy and golden brown.

        You could add other vegetables if you want, but we don’t, We always serve it with coleslaw, carrot-orange-pineapple jello salad, cottage cheese with chives and a green cooked vegetable.

  4. Yummy recipe 😁

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