Jan. 5, 2002 – One-pot meals have historically been a popular part of Virgin Islands cuisine. Nowadays, casseroles are making a comeback in the United States. So that's two good incentives to make a super simple chicken supper.
Many of our favorite island dishes — soups, stews and even fish and chicken dishes — get their taste appeal from the fact that pinches of "dis and dat" are added to the cookpot. The result is a one-pot dish that makes a whole meal.
On the U.S. mainland, casseroles were popular in the 1950s and '60s, spurred in part by the invention of canned soup. Many of us still reach for a can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup today when making meatloaf or chicken-and-rice dishes.
The recipe here evolved from having left-over rotisserie-cooked chicken from the supermarket. It has the healthful advantage that one-pot or casserole dishes offer for sneaking vegetables into the diet in a somewhat disguised form. To splash up the flavor, buy a bundle of fresh seasoning — celery, scallions, parsley and thyme — to serve as your "dis and dat" additive. It makes all the flavor difference!
Island-style Chicken Casserole
1 10 oz. package of mixed vegetables
1 bunch of local seasoning (celery, scallions, thyme, parsley)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
3 cups cooked chicken, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 roll refrigerated biscuits
Cook mixed vegetables according to package directions; drain. In the meantime, chop 2 stalks celery, 3 scallions and parsley to make 2 tablespoons from the seasoning bundle. Remove leaves from fresh thyme to equal 1 teaspoon.
Cook celery, scallions, parsley and thyme in butter or margarine for 2 to 3 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add water, milk and chicken bouillon granules all at once. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in drained mixed vegetables and cooked chicken, and heat until bubbly.
Spoon mixture into a 12×9-inch baking dish. Open roll of biscuits. Cut each round of biscuit dough into quarters. Dot top of casserole with dough quarters. Bake in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until biscuits are browned.
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 330 calories, 16 gms fat (45 percent fat calories), 49 mg cholesterol, 698 mg sodium.
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