Monday, April 21, 2008

Chicken Maxine -- make it today

My dear mother made this for us and it was deelicious. It is called "Chicken Maxine" after my great aunt Maxine. And here is the recipe along with my mom's lovely memories of Maxine herself:

Chicken Maxine
3 or 4 large chicken breasts (with skin on)salt & pepper2 tablespoons butter1/4 cup sherry wine2 pkgs frozen broccoli spears2 cans cream of chicken soup1 cup mayonnaisejuice of 1 lemon2 cups grated cheddar cheesebuttered cracker crumbs*====== Place chicken breasts in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, dot with butter, and pour wine over all. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 and 1/2 hours, or until chicken falls from bones. Cook broccoli according to package directions, undercooking by about 2 minutes; drain well in colander. Butter a 3-quart (or 2 smaller) casserole. Line bottom of casserole with broccoli. Skin and bone chicken and tear into good-sized hunks. Place chicken on top of broccoli. Mix together the undiluted soup, mayonnaise, and lemon juice (no other liquid), and pour over chicken. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over cheese, cover casserole with lid or foil, and bake in a 325 oven for 30-45 minutes, or until it is bubbly. This can be made a day ahead, refrigerated at once before baking, and baked as needed. Serves 6 ("or 3 like us", said Maxine). *to make buttered cracker crumbs: Put about 18-20 saltine cracker squares into a plastic bag. Roll with a rolling pin to make fine crumbs. Melt 3 tablespoons butter, stir crumbs into butter until all are covered. This can be made in larger quantities and stored in a covered jar in the refrigerator for instant use.===Mary's note: This recipe is from my aunt, Maxine DeWitt. She was married to my mother's big brother, Bob (whom my mother called Brother). Maxine was my most glamorous relative--beautiful, with black hair and brown eyes and always the coolest glasses. She was a wonderful cook. She and Uncle Bob lived in a big house in Highland Park, a beautiful tree-lined town within Dallas, Texas. Uncle Bob looked and sounded like Big Daddy--huge, with a deep bass Southern voice. He always drove a big Cadillac (my favorite one was pink), and he gave us silver dollars. Maxine was elegant and witty and I can still hear her rich warm voice calling us "darling".


christi said...

Oh my! I loved the poem. May i suggest hiring a pantry midget to organize and bring joy to your ingredient holding cell?

Becca said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!! I love the poem! That describes my experiences at Trader Joe's perfectly! Although I do not have the artistic and poetic abilities that you and the great haiku artist Christi have to describe my grocery shopping experiences, at least I can cook!