Who doesn’t love a good Southern cooked meal?!?! Obviously it isn’t something you can eat every single day, but when you get fresh Cucumber and Okra out of your Dad’s garden, you cook a delicious Southern meal for your family!
Growing up we went to my Granny & PawPaws every Sunday for “Dinner” which was really at lunchtime. In the South, “Dinner” can be lunch or supper time!! You didn’t miss Granny’s meal for anything! So many fond memories and I miss going over there so much. Most Sundays she would cook her okra in the skillet and I would stand at the stove eating it as she burned it to a crisp for me! There is just something about eating okra out of the skillet as it cooks!
Recently I made Chicken Casserole, Dumplings, and Fresh Fried Okra and Taters for my family. In the 8 years the Hubz and I have been married, apparently I have never cooked him Fried Okra and Taters! When we sat down to eat, my husband was shoveling, yes really, the food as fast as he could. He kept mumbling in-between bites that it was the best okra he had ever ate! He ended up eating the whole skillet of okra! Seriously, THE WHOLE SKILLET!! I was sure he would be sick the rest of the night, but apparently he has a stomach made of steal!!
My Mum made this chicken casserole when I was younger, and I hated it! I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. A year or two ago I made the mistake of trying it again, and now I can’t eat enough of it. It tastes so good with Dumplings and of course Fried Okra and Taters!! It is amazing how our taste buds evolve over the years.
Mum’s Chicken Casserole
- 3 or 4 chicken breasts
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 2 small cans of Cream of Mushroom, or one large can
- Sleeve of Crackers
- 1 stick of Butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil your chicken breasts until they are done. (Reserve your water if you plan to make Dumplings). Set your chicken aside to let cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, combine your sour cream and cream of mushroom.
Once the chicken is cool enough, shred. Spread the chicken in a layer on the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Next, spread the sour cream mixture over the shredded chicken. Lightly stir in with the chicken. Crush your sleeve of crackers, being careful not to bust the bag. Pour on top of your chicken. Melt 1 stick of butter and then pour over the crackers. I usually put my stick of butter in a glass oven safe ramekin and let melt in oven while it is preheating!
Pop the casserole dish in your 350 Degree oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until crackers are brown.
*The best way to shred chicken is to use two forks, pulling the chicken apart. Or you can use a KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment– shreds it in seconds!
** Your chicken will be more tender if you cook them in the crock pot. Just put your chicken in the crockpot with 3-4 cups of water.
Best Ever Fried Okra and Taters
*Depending on how much okra and potatoes your are cooking you will need to adjust your ingredient sizes.
- 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup Cornmeal
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of Cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
- 1/2 cup – 3/4 Cup milk (or buttermilk)
- Fresh Okra, cut into pieces
- red potatoes, peeled and diced
- Oil for frying (I use vegetable oil)
I think it is important to use a well seasoned cast iron skillet. You can use a regular pan, but I just think the cast iron skillet gives it more flavor. You will need to preheat your oil to around 350 Degrees. You will need a good bit of grease in you skillet to fry with. Probably around 3 to 4 cups, depending on how large of a skillet you use.
Put your okra in a bowl and pour your milk over it then let it sit for a minute or so. While letting it sit, in another bowl combine your flour, cornmeal, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Transfer your okra to the coating mixture and mix around to coat well.
To check to see if your oil is hot enough, sprinkle a little of your cornmeal mixture in the skillet to see if it sizzles good, if so, it is ready. Be careful when adding your okra, the oil will splash on you if you are not careful! Next add your potatoes that you have seasoned with salt and pepper. Stir potatoes and okra as needed..you have to balance between not stirring it too much and not letting it stick. Cook in hot oil for about 5-8 minutes or until cooked evenly and brown. I like mine dark brown and crispy. Remove them to a plate covered in paper towels to drain the oil.
They are delicious just like they are, but you can add ketchup or hot sauce to kick it up a notch!!
I hope your family enjoys these recipes as much as we do!!