Food on Friday: The mother of all casseroles

By Julia Westhoff

For this Mother’s Day weekend, I thought I’d share an amazing dish casserole that my husband’s mom, Marilyn Senter, introduced me to. It’s her and my sister-in-law’s go-to dish for new mothers, family gatherings, and dinner parties. I’ve always loved it, and after finally making myself I can see why. The recipe, a classic from the Junior League cookbook Beyond Parsley, is quite possibly the most caloric dish I’ve ever cooked. It includes butter, cream, sherry, cream of chicken, bacon and two kinds of cheese. It’s incredible. It’s the mother of all casseroles.

I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t absolutely love this dish. It’s creamy and comforting in the way every good casserole should be. I doubled the recipe last weekend and made one for a dinner party, and one to freeze. I suggest you do the same – you’ll be happy you did.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Recipe’s after the jump.

4 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 cups julienned carrots
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 cups cooked wild rice
10 medium mushrooms, sliced
10 scallions, chopped
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sherry
1 teaspoon salt
2 14 oz cans artichokes, drained and quartered
10 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
3 cups grated mozzarella
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

1. Blanch carrots.
2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole pan with butter. Spread wild rice on bottom.
3. Saute mushrooms and scallions in remaining butter. (I actually just used the bacon grease I had left in the pan).
4. Add soup, cream, sherry and salt. Mix well.
5. In a large bowl, combine mushroom mixture, artichokes, bacon and mozzarella. Mix well and spread over rice. Sprinkle parmesan over top.
6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered. Then remove cover and bake for 15 minutes more.