Poppy Seed Chicken

Poppy seed chicken gets its name from the poppy seeds folded into its crunchy cracker topping. This rich and deeply comforting dish feeds four, but could easily be doubled to serve a crowd.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • One 1 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat pulled into large bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups crumbled Ritz crackers (from 2 sleeves of crackers, about 60 crackers)
  • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

  2. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into a large bowl and return the skillet to the stove.

  3. In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth and the milk and warm over moderately low heat until just simmering, about 6 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in the skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute. Add the warm chicken broth in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Bring the liquid to a boil, whisking, then cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk in the sour cream, parsley and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the sauce into the bowl with the vegetables. Add the chicken and stir gently to combine. Scrape into the prepared baking dish.

  5. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter at high power, about 30 seconds. In a small bowl, toss the crumbled crackers with the poppy seeds and melted butter until well combined. Sprinkle over the chicken mixture.

  6. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes, until the cracker topping is browned and the chicken filling is bubbling.

Make Ahead

The poppy seed chicken can be made through Step 4, covered and refrigerated overnight. You might need to add a few minutes to the cooking time when baking.

Contributed By Photo Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

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