false memories of condensed soup bliss?
i SWEAR that when i was growing up my mom made this rice/chicken dish with campbell's cream of mushroom soup. but i've tried to make it as an adult and it's dreadful. i don't know if my tastes were just bad when i was young, if i'm making it wrong, or what. so, if anyone remembers this dish (or can share an improved version) - i would love it!
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 cup rice
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
random broccoli or peas if desired.
mix rice and broth and cream of mushroom soup and place in baking pan. put chicken on top. cover with foil. bake for an hour. eat yumminess gooey chicken/mushroom/rice dish? no.
these sorts of things are usually better if you doctor them up by adding some crunchy stuff like sliced onions, water chestnuts or celery, sauteed mushrooms, sour cream or mayo. Maybe your mom had some secret ingredients. As a non- chicken breast lover, I also wonder whether the 45 min cooking time is optimum for the breasts.
re: jen kalb
I think part of it had to do with the hunger of childhood. I got all my height by 7th grade, so starting in 5th I had an absolute hollow leg and could eat (and needed to eat) way more than my father. Our guests would watch me in amazement as I put it away. Those horrible children's menus were torture. Tiny portions of nasty food?!?! Turn me loose on the entire salad bar and buffet!! So it's my theory that those amazing appetites had something to do with the food tasting good even when it wasn't ... plus remember we all had more tastebuds then too.
Although.... I think the higher number of taste buds in children frequently leads them to prefer more "bland" foods... they can taste the bitter elements too easily in other foods (eg pugnant cheese or strong wine flavoring in a dish) Whereas adults need more taste bud stimulation to appreciate full flavors.
Agreed that ANYTHING tastes delicious when you are hungry!
That's correct ... and this casserole is nothing if not bland.
However, I'm a supertaster and I've never preferred bland food ... just disliked certain highly bitter foods. And soap ... the only time my mother washed my mouth out with soap was really bad!!! (And I totally didn't deserve it either ... I was making up words to rhyme with duck.)
Too funny, I had a similar soap experience as I was making up words that rhymed with grass.
These soup-based casserole type dishes really scream "dress me up." I don't remember my mom making casserole dishes with canned soup or maybe I just blocked it out, but I like jen kalb's idea about adding crunchy stuff. I would add some heat and spice, herbs, cheese, wine, add to or swap out the vegetables, etc. and use the soup as a base and add a well-flavored white sauce.
Chicken isn't what it used to be, either. Thigh meat tastes better (skinless, with or without bone). When I made this last time with breast meat, it was hard to keep it moist and it tasted like nothing.
I second the suggestions of long grain rice and also Lipton onion soup mix. With the onion soup, I make some effort to separate the powdery spice part of the packet from the dried onion flakes, use only about half of the spice part in the wet mix, and then sprinkle the onions on top.
Your missing ingredient might be cheese.
Some parmesan (from the green can of course!) or some swiss or cheddar mixed in will improve the flavor.
Adding some sauteed garlic and onions, a dash of sherry (plus the cheese) will help too.
You might try googling Paula Deen and casserole for some recipes... her stuff (while fattening!) looks like it would at least have some flavor to it.
Has some recipes for "the great american casseroles" chicken with asparagus casserole and tuna casserole.
This chef makes a real white sauce (Bechamel) but then adds a can of cream of mushroom soup for nostalgia's sake.
I occasionally make what we call Grandmother's chicken ... chicken breasts salted/peppered/wrapped in bacon. Line dish with dried beef (I rinse it sometimes to cut the salt), top with half cream of mushroom, half sour cream. I buy the original cream of mushroom for this--no fooling around! I still like it ...
I remember similar dish, that I make for certain members of my family who shall remain nameless. A dish with pork chops and cream of mushroom soup. It's horribly fattening, and I don't know it does taste somewhat like yours, for me anything made with that soup always tasted very similar.
Lightly dust the pork chops in flour, add oil to a large saute pan and heat the oil. You only wnat to brown the chops, not cook them through. Brown the pork chops add slices of white onion, add some butter, for caramelized onions, then add white wine, and a little chicken broth, perhaps half a can at this point. Let it cook down, the broth will be pretty brown from the onions and the floured pork chops. Take the chops out of the pan and place on a plate cover. Add the pans drippings and broth to the bowl. Add the mushroom soup, and whisk. Add 1 T garlic powder, pepper, 1/4 cup sherry.
Whisk, add herbes de provence, or thyme, 1 tsp. mix well, add half and half, 1 cup, and whisk.
Add butter to the pan and brown criminis, about a pint brushed and quartered, Put the chops back into the pan, add the chicken broth, and cover them with the sauce. taste for salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve with mashed potaotes.
It does sound like your tastes changed. There's a nice sounding dish at the heart of that, though, if you want to try making it without the convenience food:
Make a mushroom cream soup from a white roux, chicken stock, mushrooms, onion, milk/cream, and nutmeg. Take simmer the suprêmes (breasts) in your cream sauce, until they're just done, about 10-12 minutes over *very* low heat.
Serve with white rice cooked in chicken broth, and steamed peas or green beans.
I would agree on that (although, tastes do change/develop).
I have always loved grilled cheese (with the plain-ol, much maligned, deli, American cheese slices) with a hot cup of Campbell's tomato soup - made with milk, not water.
Happening in the last year or so, the soup now separates, seeming to curdle. The taste is also different, tasting sweet? A while back, I read that Campbell reduced the sodium and as we all know, when you take one flavor component away, you have to replace it with another. In this case it was sugar or maybe the reduction simply enhanced the sweetness. Thumbs down to that decision.
My mom made (makes) something like this, but slightly different. Hers involves:
cream of mushroom soup
boneless-skinless chicken tenders or breast strips
diced onion (sometimes dried, I think...lol)
(sometimes she'd add cream of chicken soup, too)
copious amounts of cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
All mixed together and baked until heated through and bubbly. Then served over egg noodles...I still have fond memories of this.
this was a staple in our grad school days 25 years ago. That's more or less it. We hit upon one variation though. My roommate usually put a sprinkling of parmesan on top. Once we were making it and realized we needed to go stand in line for Sprinsteen tickets. We turned the oven way down low. Ended up taking much longer than we expected to get our "wristbands" so the chicken was in for about 2 or 3 hours. It was really good (as we thought then). Forever after it was "Chicken Bruce". I haven't made that in maybe 20 years :) Nothing wrong with it per se but I just cook differently now.
Why sell out your memories and your mothers? Keep the memory alive of that enjoyment you had as a kid.
I haven't been able to use any canned soups for 35 years. Where I live and have lived they always cost about $5.00 a can. Having said that, I'd cook the rice and creamed chicken separately (chicken without the added stock) and combine at serving.
Think about it more as your senses developed, not that you had bad ones. With exposure to new items, experiences and the maturing brain being able to better integrate the various sensory signals ; well things change. They develop. And that is alot of the fun being a foodie!
I also thing there might have been some recipe changes with the soup. But I do think it is more that your tastes developed.
I recently made a dish of Mom's, chicken pieces on cornbread with condensed cream of chicken soup thinned with sherry poured over all. Used to be my favorite dinner. Tastes now to me like gloppy paste. I have a feeling she probably thinned it with more than sherry, but still probably won't be making it again . Oh well, tastes change.
thank you. and oh, shucks! it looks like i made the recipe basically right and i did not care for it at all. i am going to try again. do you put the chicken on top and then just sprinkle the onion soup on? or dredge the chicken in the soup mix and then put on?
no matter what anyone says - i still love onion soup mix. it is really a versatile and yummy dry powder.