So obviously I love me some poppyseed chicken but if you know me in real life, or on Twitter, or have just been in a 100 mile radius of me you know that I began reducing/eliminating processed foods in my diet since Thanksgiving. (You would know because I am pretty obnoxious/can’t shut up about it.)
But I wanted to make poppy seed chicken (I use the James Villas recipe but they are identical except his adds lemon juice. Which I recommend.). Fortunately I’m not alone in this “real food” craziness. I used this recipe for cream of chicken soup, and it was super easy and a perfect substitute. I used whole wheat flour; if you are not on a whole grains kick and want your cream of-soup to be totally lump free with minimal whisking I would recommend Wondra. (Even with the whole wheat flour it was pretty lump free with about two minutes, tops, of whisking.)
For the Ritz cracker topping I turned to this recipe. My standard all purpose to mostly whole wheat flour conversion in baking is to use 1/4 all purpose, 1/4 white whole wheat flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour and that worked well in this cracker. I don’t think I baked them long enough since they did not come out as crisp as “store boughten,” as an old teacher of mine would say. But they were tasty, and crumbled up nicely for a casserole topping. The food processor meant it was a really easy cracker to put together- the hardest part was cutting the crackers and poking holes on the top of each one but fortunately I have
a houseboy a kindergartener to do that part.
All in all, it was marginally more difficult than making a regular poppyseed chicken casserole but not as time and labor intensive as, say, spinach lasagna or plenty of other things I regularly make. I may experiment with a biscuit or free form pastry topping the next time I make it but will never go back to the can.