Friday Favorites: Chicken Parisienne

IMG_7639_ffWelcome to Friday Favorites!

Chicken Parisienne is one of our all-time favorite comfort dishes.  The recipe was added to my library back in the early 1990’s.  It is one of many I have received from my mother.  She’s not the author however.

Here’s what I know about it’s history.

  • It was published in a spiral bound cookbook similar to those used by church groups.  I know this because my copy of the recipe was not written on a typical recipe card.  I’m often too lazy to do that.  The recipe was photocopied and because anything that is placed on the photocopier along with the document will also become a permanent part of the image.  So how do I know it was spiral bound . . . you’ve guess it . . . my photocopied recipe includes the image of spiral binding.
  • The recipe was found in the “Meats & Main Dishes” section of the cookbook according to the wording in the top right corner.
  • Along the right side of the page one can see images of tabs marking additional sections in the cookbook.  There are tabs labeled
  • Breads, Rolls and Pastries
  • Cakes, Cookies & Desserts
  • Beverages, Microwave & Misc
  • Vegetables
  • The recipe was printed on page 51.
  • The author of the recipe is Connie Fenske.  I have no idea who Ms. Fenske is nor does my mother.
  • The other important information one would like to know about a recipe’s origin such as the name of the book, when and where it was published shall remain a mystery.  Unless of course one of my readers is privy to the information.  I welcome any details you might be able to shed light on.

Internet Search

I’ve searched the internet hoping to find more information about this recipe but have been unsuccessful.  So I offer this recipe to my readers as one that most certainly must be tried and will undoubtedly be added to your stack of favorite comfort foods.  Without further ado I now present to you Connie Fenske’s recipe for Chicken Parisienne.

Chicken Parisienne

By Connie Fenske


10 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breasts (5 whole), split

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 c. sherry wine

1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. melted butter

1 1/2 c. wild rice (can use 1/2 wild and 1/2 white)

3 oz. Parmesan cheese

1 pkg. slivered almonds

Combine soups, wine, milk and butter.  Stir.  Set aside.  Place rice (uncooked) in a well-greased 9 x 12-inch pan.  Spread 1/2 liquid mixture over rice.  Lay breasts on top and pour remaining liquid on top of breasts.  Cover with grated Parmesan cheese and slivered almonds.  Bake at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.  Do not cover.  Do not disturb while baking.  Serve with tossed salad and rolls.

So What Do You Think?

Now that you’ve read the recipe, of one thing I am certain, you’ve come to the conclusion that this definitely does not fall into the lo-cal category.  On this little detail I will concur.  However, since when do comfort foods fall into the lo-cal arena anyway?

I’ve Done A Little Tweaking

As with all cooks and their favorite recipes, I have my own adaptations I have made.  You have the option to first try the recipe, as it was originally intended, and then on your second attempt implement my adjustments.  Or, if you are inclined, skip the original directions and follow mine instead.  Which ever route you choose I have no doubt you will be well-pleased.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Rice  Definitely mix the wild rice with another option.  Long-grain, short-grain, white or brown rice are all suitable candidates.  If you are not a fan of wild rice then feel free to omit it.  Just make sure what ever combination you choose adds up to 1 1/2 cups of rice.
  • Soup  There are already three cans of soup listed in the ingredients.  This may sound like a large quantity of soup, but trust me, every ounce of liquid will be absorbed by the rice.  I’ve often toyed with the idea of either increasing the amount of milk or adding a fourth can of soup.  I tend to like my hot-dishes a little creamier than this one often is.  I’ve also thought of soaking my rice overnight hoping that would result in a creamier texture.
  • Mixing  Although the recipe does not tell you to mix the liquids and rice together, I do.  I think the rice cooks up much nicer when they have been combined together before layering in the pan.  I follow the directions for stirring together the liquids then add in the rice.  I pour 1/2 of my liquid and rice mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Then I put in the chicken and pour the left-over rice mixture on top.

With all of the adaptations I have made one might wonder why we are so fond of this dish.  We are unique individuals with different taste buds.  These minor changes just happen to make our experience much more to our liking.  I’m sure when you try the recipe you will do a bit of tweaking as well.

I hope that you will at least try the original version.  When you do I expect you will send me a message telling me all about your experience.  I am confident you will fall in love with this Chicken Parisienne recipe just like we have.  Enjoy!  Bon Appetite!

Friday Favorites: Aunt Lilly’s Chili

IMG_7639_ffWelcome to Friday Favorites!

Fond Memories

My family isn’t particularly large and most of my Aunts and Uncles, Grandmothers and Grandfathers have long since passed away.  I have very fond memories of my maternal Grandfather and my maternal Great Aunt.

My Great Aunt lived to be 100+ years old.  She lived in her own home until she turned 100.  Shortly after, her health began to decline.  Her final three years of life were lived out in a nursing home.  She was a sweet, tiny little lady with curly white hair.  Visits to her home were surrounded with warm hugs, plenty of giggles and almost always a meal of some sort.

My Great Aunt was a wonderful cook.  For some unknown reason I was only ever given one of her recipes.  The recipe’s name is simple but descriptive:  Aunt Lilly’s Chili.  The name chili probably conjures up thoughts of ground beef, red beans and tomatoes.  However this chili is not what you are expecting.

I Will Always Remember

I will always remember the first time I introduced my hubby to my Great Aunt’s recipe.  I invited him over (we weren’t married at the time) to share a meal of chili.  It never dawned on me to tell him what kind of chili I would be serving.  When he arrived he was bombarded by a very unfamiliar aroma.  His appetite was primed for the typical soup one might expect.  He never let on how surprised he was until many years later.

You’re Probably Wondering

With all this talk about Aunt Lilly’s Chili you’re probably wondering why it’s so unusual.  I won’t make your wait any longer.  Here’s the recipe.

Aunt Lilly’s Chili

1 piece of suet

3 or 4 onions

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1 box spaghetti (break noodles into thirds)

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tsp all spice

Red pepper and salt to taste

1 can tomatoes

1 can pork & beans

Grind suet and onion through coarse grinder.  Put on stove with hamburger & one quart of water.  Bring to a boil.  Add spaghetti.  Once spaghetti is cooked add remaining ingredients and more water.  Simmer.

Note:  I have yet to make the recipe with suet.  I’m sure it adds a wonderful comfort food flavor but I haven’t found a place to purchase it.

* * * * *

As you can see the recipe is quite simple and most likely very different from your own.  The spices, pork & beans and spaghetti are what make this dish unique.  The only way you will know what it tastes like is to try it.  If you do, please let me know what you think.

That’s All

That’s it for Friday Favorites.  Stop back next week for another edition.