I dissected my failed Crockpot attempt at stew last night in a stubborn effort to salvage it. After all, it had a whole package of chicken breasts in it that I was loath to let go to waste!

First, I separated out all of the chicken, corn, mushrooms, and onions and set them aside. These parts were cooked enough. I rinsed off some of the chicken that had more prominent bits of boiled chicken silt, which I have previously deemed "grosslets."

Then, I spooned out the carrots and potatoes into a pot, over which I strained the remaining broth through one of these guys:

The gunk left in the strainer was unimaginably disgusting. Picture the crud that gets deposited in the strainer in your sink after washing a sinkful of dishes. Yeah.

I let this boil on the stove for awhile in the newly silt-free broth, much longer than I thought would be necessary. The potatoes just did NOT want to get soft! But once the carrots were soft and the potatoes were reasonably close, I took it off the heat and called it done.

I had placed the chicken, corn, mushrooms, and onions into a casserole dish, into which I added the newly cooked carrots and a small portion of the potatoes. I mixed in some of this stuff:

and called it a casserole. I live in the South. If it has cream of something soup in it, it's a casserole, hands down.

I covered the dish with foil and left it overnight. Tonight for dinner, I sprinkled some breadcrumbs on it, baked it for about half an hour, and....drumroll please! Miracle of miracles, it was actually pretty good! I would never follow this recipe again, and it was much too hard won to be a desirable casserole to recreate, but at least my package of chicken did not go to waste.

And we even have leftovers for dinner tomorrow, as planned. Crisis averted.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman