Presbyterian Chicken {Story and Recipe}

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I have made it for years (even before I had my own family.) Of course, when I tried making it for my parents and siblings once, I about killed them.

Here's the story...

I had been away at college for several months and was home on break. I was thrilled to be HOME so I decided I would make dinner for the family...Presbyterian Chicken. Yum!

I began the dinner prep starting with the chicken. (Apparently I hadn't had a lot of experience cooking in the kitchen. The only thing I remember making on a regular basis was peanut butter cookies. I had taken a Home Ec class before, but I guess they didn't cover "How to Cook Chicken 101".)  Regardless, as I was preparing the chicken I thought, "Wow, this is really hard to cut through. I'm having to basically saw this chicken to cut it into pieces." After quite a bit of effort on the chicken, I managed to get the recipe together.

After the casserole was put together, my family and I sat down to eat. I couldn't wait to eat this since all I'd been having the last several months was food from the college's dining common. Immediately upon sitting down though, I remembered that I forgotten to add the Mayo, a crucial ingredient in my mind. Bummer!

After praying (good thing we prayed over it!) my brother immediately began to chow down on the casserole. My sister, on the other hand, took a bite and cautiously asked, "Did you cook this chicken?" (Picture her asking this while trying not to let the chicken touch her mouth in any way...) "Well, I baked it in the oven in the casserole" I replied. I think my Mom chimed in at this point and asked, "Yes, but did you cook it before you put it in the casserole?" "Well...no."

At this point my sister spits out her bite and my brother begins gagging and rolling on the floor. I begin crying thinking that I almost killed my family and all I was trying to do was fix them a nice meal! My mom put the casserole back in the oven until it was thoroughly cooked and I guess we ate it then.

As you can imagine, this story has become a family favorite and every time I think about my brother wolfing it down and then just about dying upon hearing he ate some partially raw chicken I can't help but laugh. Thankfully, none of us got sick and all lived to tell about it.

In spite of all this, this recipe has continued to be one of my favorites (although I'm always sure to cook the chicken first!) My kids LOVE it (and even helped me make it tonight)! This recipe was passed on to me from Lisa, a pastor's wife from my former church.

I think you'll definitely want to give this recipe a try. Just be sure to cook the chicken first!

Presbyterian Chicken
2 c. cooked chicken (it even told me that on the recipe! Good grief!) (about 2 breasts)
2 c. cooked rice
1 c. sauteed celery
2 cans cream of chicken
2 T minced onion
3/4 c. Mayonnaise (Trader Joes is my favorite!)

Mix all ingredients. Put in a 9x13 baker and cover with 3 c. Crispix (or Corn Chex) sauteed in 3-4 T melted butter. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Now, here are some variations that I have done to make the recipe healthier:
  • I used organic chicken so it was free of antibiotics
  • Feel free to use brown rice
  • If possible, buy organic celery as celery is one of the worst as far as pesticides go
  • Substitute this recipe for the cream of chicken or buy the organic variety from Whole Foods.

I also prepared this recipe the night before so I sauteed the chex cereal and stored it separately in this Mason Jar so they wouldn't get soggy. Maybe you've noticed I'm a big fan of using these jars? I like them because they are better than using plastic and I love the look of them. I store a lot of our leftovers in jars like this.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my story about my mishap with the chicken.

Do you have any funny stories from the kitchen? Share them with us in the comments section so we can get a good chuckle too! :)

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usbornetheresa said...

The first time I tried to make a Turkey after Dean and I were married, I tried to follow the "safe defrosting" directions. It was still frozen when it was time to put it in the oven. I ended up microwaving it because we didn't really want to be eating at midnight.

Shelly Marie said...

Oh Becky, that story nevers gets old!! I was laughing so hard as I read this post and thinking of the great times I had at your dinner table growing up!! I will have to make this for my family too. =) Thanks my friend =)

becky@purposefulhomemaking.com said...

yep, we live and learn, right Theresa? :)

Shelly! I laughed again just reading your comment and yes, we had good times. miss them! :)

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