I apologize. Right from the start. I will talk to you about Poppy Seed Chicken, one of the South’s greatest inventions. But first, death. In a funny way.
My husband is a lawyer and a few days ago he got a letter in the mail from a company that records your message to your loved ones to be left with your will and “enjoyed years after (your) death.” Really? Is that a good idea? Here’s my message to Mark: Hi, honey. Miss me yet? Have you fed the cats and cleaned the litter? How about the trash? I know you love the tall trash, the kind that spills out of the garbage can in the kitchen. Did you empty it? Are the doors locked? You know my OCD about locking the doors. Are you sure they’re locked? Check again. No, check three times. Hey, I have a great view of the house now and I think I see some cat vomit in the living room. Can you clean that up? Miss me? By the way, the mortgage is due.
So, Poppy Seed Chicken. There is no greater threat to public grooming than poppy seeds. You do not want to eat a poppy seed bagel at an important business meeting. Just as you’re about the seal the deal, you smile. Oh, God. And yet, we love our Poppy Seed Chicken. We serve it at potlucks, funerals and christenings. We just don’t smile much on those occasions.
Poppy Seed Chicken
1 supermarket rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1/3 cup butter melted
Remove the chicken from the bones and shred it. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and cook the mushrooms until they have released all their juice and they are well browned. Reserve. In a large bowl, mix the chicken soup, sour cream, and poppy seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and the chicken.
Pour chicken mixture into a 9-by-13 dish. Crush the crackers and mix with the melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.