Casseroles aren’t something I make very often, but they sure are a lovely “comfort food” that we enjoy sometimes!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a saucepan, melt a third of a cup of butter.
Toss in a finely diced, small onion, and two stalks of celery that are also finely diced.
Cook the onion & celery in the butter until they are tender, and then whisk in a quarter cup of flour.
Pour in 2 cups of milk.
Toss in some Salt & Pepper
and a teaspoon of Thyme
Cook this over medium heat, stirring continually until it just begins to boil and is thickened. Remove it from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of cooked, diced chicken and 3 cups of cooked rice (You can use white or brown rice, as long as it is fully cooked.)
Coarsely chop a drained can of Water Chestnuts, and add them to the bowl.
Now chop up half a cup of Cashews, and toss them in as well.
Pour in your sauce, and stir this all together.
Spread the mixture into a baking dish.
Now in a small skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.
When it is melted, turn off the heat, and add in a “tube” of crushed crackers. (About 36 crackers) I used “Roasted Vegetable Ritz” crackers. Stir them around to coat with the butter.
Then stir in about 3/4 of a teaspoon of Poppy Seeds.
Spread this all over the top of the casserole.
Bake it for 20-25 minutes, or until the cracker topping is golden brown.