- 1 whole stewing chicken, about 5 pounds
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, cut in 4 slices
- 1/2 cup celery with tops
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups cooked rice (I like to use Uncle Bens, it holds up better in the oven)
- 6 tablespoons chicken fat or part butter (I know but you can't substitute the flavor you get)
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 cans (4 ounces each) sliced mushrooms
- 4 ounces chopped pimiento
- 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1 cup soft buttered bread crumbs
In a large kettle or Dutch oven, combine chicken, water, onion, carrot, celery, salt, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.
Cool chicken in the stock; remove from stock. Remove skin and take meat from bones; cut into bite-size pieces and place in a medium bowl.
Pour about 1/2 cup of stock over the chicken; cover and refrigerate.
Strain remaining stock into a bowl; chill. Skim fat off the strained chilled stock; save for the sauce.
Heat 1 cup of stock; pour over cooked rice in a bowl; let stand while making sauce.
Melt chicken fat or part chicken fat and part butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Blend in flour until smooth and bubbly, you are making a Ruex. Stir in 2 cups of strained stock. Cook sauce over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens; let boil 1 minute. Gradually stir cream; remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms with mushroom liquid, pimiento, and almonds. In a buttered 12 cup casserole dish, alternate layers of chicken with sauce and the rice-broth mixture. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs over top. Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and crumbs are nicely browned.
Scott Patterson, Spring Hill, TN.