Category Archives: Meats

Poppy Seed Chicken

Well, I braved the grocery store even though we were facing a winter storm warning, which always causes a mad rush.  My reward to myself for grocery shopping among the weather-panicked masses was a comfort food dinner of Poppy Seed Chicken, and it was the perfect food for a cold and rainy night that’s quickly turning into an even colder and icy/snowy night.  This classic chicken dish with a buttery mixture of Ritz crackers and poppy seed on top is great for serving a crowd… just be sure to make plenty because people will be going back for seconds!

Difficulty:  Easy

6-8 chicken breasts

chicken broth for cooking chicken

8 ounces cream cheese

2 cans cream of chicken soup (I like to use one low fat and one regular can)

one sleeve of Ritz crackers

1 tablespoon poppy seed

1/2-1 stick of butter

Poppy Seed Chicken Ingredients

Cook chicken breasts.  I usually buy boneless skinless breasts to make it easier on myself.  Bring chicken broth to a boil on the stovetop.  Add chicken to broth and turn heat down to get the chicken broth to a low simmer – just moving, but not bubbling a lot.

Broth for cooking chicken

Place lid on pot and cook chicken for about 15-20 minutes or until chicken is white all the way through.  If you use chicken strips, they will be ready earlier, probably after 10-15 minutes. If you’re using bone-in chicken pieces such as leg quarters, it will take longer – closer to 45 minutes.  I like to cook extra chicken to really stuff the casserole with chicken and then use the leftover chicken for homemade chicken salad.

Debone chicken breasts (if not using boneless) and cut them into small chunks.

Cooked Chicken Breasts cut up for Poppy Seed Chicken

Heat cream cheese and cream of chicken soup until melted enough to be easily mixed together.

cream cheese and cream of chicken soup

Cream Cheese and Cream of Mushroom Soup melted

Mix chicken into cream cheese/soup mixture.  Place in 9×13 casserole dish or spread out into smaller dishes.

Poppy Seed Chicken in dish ready for topping

If I’m not cooking the casserole right away, at this point I cover the dish in foil and place in refrigerator until ready to bake (not more than a day or so later).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection).  Crumble one sleeve of Ritz crackers and mix with poppy seed.

Poppy Seed and Ritz Cracker topping

Sprinkle mixture over casserole.

Poppy Seed Chicken ready for butter

Melt butter and drizzle over the cracker topping.  The original recipe calls for an entire stick of butter, but you can definitely cut back on this and still have a delicious casserole.

Poppy Seed Chicken ready to be baked

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly.  If you’re using smaller casserole dishes like I did, this will be closer to 25-30 minutes.  Serve hot.

Poppy Seed Chicken

Poppy Seed Chicken

The Story:  When I was in college, this dish was a favorite at my sorority house.  Despite the obsession with low fat everything, the attendance at Poppy Seed Chicken dinners was always high.  This recipe came to mind because one of my college roommates just had her third baby, and I believe this is the dish I took to her as a nostalgic comfort food dinner when she had her first baby several years ago.  So Ady, this one was inspired by you and baby James!


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Easy Oven Baked Chicken

This oven baked chicken is one of my favorite go-to meals for a weeknight when I don’t feel like putting out much effort but don’t want take-out.  It’s so easy and has only a few ingredients that you’ll wonder why you didn’t know about this already!

Difficulty:  VERY Easy, so easy that I considered not posting it… but then decided that if you don’t know about this super simple way of cooking chicken, you need to see it!

chicken thighs or leg quarters (bone in, skin on, and enough to feed your family plus few for leftovers)

garlic salt (or seasoned salt if you don’t have garlic salt on hand)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash chicken.  You’ll need a pan with sides, since the chicken will release juices as it cooks.  Cover the pan completely with foil.  The foil just makes the cleanup easy, and ease is what this recipe is all about.  Well, that and delicious baked chicken!  Place chicken thighs on foiled pans.  Salt liberally.  Sprinkle garlic salt much less liberally.  Very lightly pepper the chicken.


Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes.  That’s all there is to it.  The skin will be crispy and delicious when it comes out of the oven.


Refrigerate leftovers.  I like to use the extra chicken in chicken salad, and in that case I debone the chicken before refrigerating, because who likes to work with cold dark meat chicken.

Given that this chicken is bone-in and skin-on, this is a bit of a messy meal.  I wouldn’t recommend making it for people you don’t know very well!

The Story:  When my mom made chicken like this at my house, I couldn’t believe how delicious and easy it was.  So now this is my go-to when I don’t have much time to prepare my meal.  I made this at a friend’s house one day, and when the oven timer beeped, my friend looked confused and asked what that noise was.  When I told her, she said, “Oh, I never use that!”  I was speechless.  It took some work and some perfectly baked cookies, but I have since convinced her that timers can be very helpful.

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