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Southern Baked Chicken Casserole
© John Kernick

Southern Baked Chicken Casserole

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • MAKE-AHEAD

This is a slightly modernized take on the very traditional Southern chicken casserole Jennifer Nettles's mother likes to make. The recipe swaps out the usual canned cream of chicken soup in favor of a quick white sauce. A dash of hot sauce is the perfect finish.

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  3. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  5. 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  6. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1 1/2 cups milk
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. Tabasco
  10. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  11. 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  12. 1/2 cup finely chopped pimentos (from a 4-ounce jar)
  13. 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (4 ounces)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Remove from the heat and stir in the mayonnaise, chicken and pimentos.
  2. Transfer the chicken mixture to a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Scatter the crushed crackers on top. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the casserole is golden and bubbling. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
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