What a sad, sad day. I used my last bag of cherished, don’t even THINK about touching it, roast turkey from my coveted freezer stash. Yep. It’s now all gone.
But I made sure, that it was going to go out with a bang!
As simple as this midwestern, Amish-style recipe is, it will have you wondering about how you might want to redo your Thanksgiving dinner next year. Not kidding.
Especially if you’re only having a few people over, or if it’s just you and your spouse, or a couple of close friends!
But don’t think for a sec that dishes like this can only be enjoyed during the holidays! This is a VERY welcome supper all year round! Who doesn’t love an easy turkey (or chicken!) casserole any time? Right? 😉 I love a big ol’ fried chicken dinner in the dead-heat of the summer, so suppers like this are always in my back pocket. 😉
You can roast a small turkey breast, a whole chicken or small turkey, or totally cheat if short on time, and simply use a rotisserie chicken from the deli section of your favorite grocery store!
There’s minimal ingredients, minimal cost, and you won’t believe how easy it is to make!
So let’s get crackin’! 😀
One ingredient, to me anyways, is a must. I always use a thick-cut style of bread such as what I used this time, Texas Toast bread. It’s fairly dense and the thicker cut slices will hold up beautifully when baked. Moist without being “wet” and mushy, yet not at all dry, either. “Just right”. But a nice homemade bread or fairly dense “sandwich bread” from a local bakery or grocery store is of course, exceptionally nice, too.
You do NOT want to tear the pieces into small cubes like what you would normally do for regular “stuffing” or “dressing”. (I call it “stuffing” when it’s going into something, and “dressing” when it isn’t. But you call it whatever you want! 😉 😀 )
Only tear the thick slices into 6th’s or 8th’s. You want this very much chunky-style, and be able to hold up to all of the wet ingredients.
This recipe is simply done by sautéing the celery, onions, and seasonings in butter until softened.
The bread is dried overnight, then lightly toasted under the broiler on both sides until a pretty golden brown.
Toasting the bread also ads so much extra flavor! Who can resist the smell of bread toasting in the toaster…right? 😀 😉
You then just toss your tender, juicy, roasted pieces of turkey with your toasted bread and buttery, seasoned vegetables!
Sound good so far? You with me? 😀
Then you whisk up a basic custard sauce of eggs, milk, seasoning, and broth, and pour that over.
I then just use my one hand to fold it all together, while the other spins the bowl. You could use a large spoon but…
Hey. That’s what those “things” are for that dangle from your arms. They work so much better, because spoons can tear up and break down the bread. Using your hands, the utensils that you were born with, work so much better and fold everything together gently.
Just get in there and do it! 😀
But don’t over do it. I know. It’s fun and hard to stop. But you don’t want to over mix and turn the bread to mush. 😉
Keep those beautiful big chunks in tact. 😉
Lastly, butter a deep cast iron skillet (pan of choice!), or a small dutch oven or casserole dish, with real butter, add the chicken and dressing mixture to your pan or dish leveling a little, cover with a lid (or foil), and pop into the oven to bake! Remove the lid for a little bit longer to crisp the top a bit, and that’s all there is to it.
It could not be more simple, more delicious, and frankly, more economical!
This works nicely for your Pinterest board!
And makes for one of the most memorable suppers you could dream of having. Just like stepping right back in time, back into Grandma’s kitchen, perched high on a stool, helping to tear up the bread….
That’s what good, wholesome suppers are all about. Food so delicious that you remember them for a lifetime, and they bring up such fond memories.
I hope you make this as soon as possible, remembering wonderful times with family, and even create new memories with your own children and grandchildren!
Take care, and slow down.
Enjoy the small stuff.
That’s the important stuff. 😉
Other Recipes Featured that You Might Like to Serve with This Dish:
- half of a loaf of thick-cut Texas bread, 7 slices plus both heels, torn into large pieces (6 - 8 per slice)
- 4 Tbl. melted butter
- 1 cup sliced celery with the leaves, about 3 medium-sized ribs
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. dried parsley
- ½ tsp. ground rosemary
- ½ tsp. dried marjoram
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. celery seed
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1½ - 2 lbs. leftover cooked turkey (or chicken), torn into large bite-sized pieces and chunks
- Sauce Mixture:
- 3 extra-large eggs, well beaten
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- 1 cup milk
- The day before, tear up bread onto a large baking sheet and let dry overnight. (I just pop it into my oven with the door shut). The next day, run the bread under the broiler to LIGHTLY toast. Remove, turn pieces, and toast other sides. Set aside, uncovered.
- In large deep frying pan, melt butter and add celery, onion and seasonings. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add ½ cup broth, cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring only a few times.
- In large glass measuring pitcher, beat eggs. Whisk in second half-cup chicken broth and chicken base until base is dissolved. Whisk in milk. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Butter or spray a deep cast iron skillet or large casserole dish that has a lid.
- Add dried torn bread to a large bowl. Add turkey and butter/veggie mixture, and gently toss to mix. Pour broth/bouillon mixture over. Fold just until all is moistened and mixed, but don't over mix. You want the bread to hold up and not disintegrate. (I just do this by scooping and tossing with my hands). Let sit for 5 minutes to absorb all of the liquid.
- Pour and spoon into the prepared skillet or casserole dish, and cover with lid (or foil).
- Pop into preheated 325º F oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove lid and bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cover until serving time. (Will stay hot for quite some time).
- Serve with mashed potatoes and ladle both with homemade gravy, and also a green vegetable such as green beans or mixed peas 'n carrots.