Neighborly love: Dishes ideal for sharing

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Casserole. Photos by Aimee Broussard.

Food, especially in the South, has heart. Sharing dishes with friends, neighbors and even strangers is a gesture that goes much deeper than nourishment. Rather, it speaks to the love that exists and the joy many are eager to share.

During this prolonged time of fear, worry and health concerns, it’s never been more important to extend a helping–and loving–hand. Whether for a neighbor who just had a baby or a grandparent who hasn’t seen their loved ones in weeks, these dishes by Aimee Broussard are sure to offer a little comfort and plenty of full stomachs.

Tap the recipe titles for even more meal suggestions.


CHICKEN & SAUSAGE GUMBO CASSEROLE (above)

Note: Okra is what makes this recipe gumbo and not jambalaya, but if you have someone who doesn’t care for it, just omit it. I did!
¼ cup olive oil
1 lb. sausage, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups rice
32 oz. chicken broth
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 ½ lb. cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1 ½ cups fresh okra, sliced
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
1 ½tsp. garlic powder
Garnish: chopped green onions, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion, celery and bell pepper; cook until onions and celery become translucent. Add rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat. Add chicken, okra, Worcestershire, Creole seasoning and garlic powder. Combine well. Cover Dutch oven with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with green onions.
Note: If you are gifting the casserole, transfer to a disposable dish prior to placing in oven.
Makes 8-10 servings.

SHEET PAN CHICKEN POT PIE

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. butter
½ cup onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely diced
13 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 ½ cups rotisserie chicken, chopped
6 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
1 (17.3-oz.) pkg. puff pastry sheets
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sauté onion and celery until tender and translucent. Whisk in flour and stir to combine. Slowly whisk in chicken broth. Add seasonings and allow to simmer, stirring frequently until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in chicken and vegetables, tossing to combine. Pour mixture onto sheet pan.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a large square. Cut into about 1-in. strips. Arrange pastry strips over filling crosswise so that most of filling is covered. You can also create a lattice design by weaving strips over and under one another. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake until pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Makes 6-8 servings.

 

SLOW-COOKER CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Ingredients:
1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. turmeric
32 oz. chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups wide egg noodles
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley for garnish
Place whole chicken breasts on bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker and top with onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and turmeric.
Add chicken broth and season with salt and pepper (I used about ½ tsp. of each, but the broth you use will determine if you need more). Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.
Remove chicken breasts and cut into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to slow cooker. Add egg noodles. Cover and cook until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Note: If you’re not ready to enjoy the soup right away, skip adding the noodles and instead cook them separately and add to the soup when ready.
Makes 6-8 servings.

SMALL-BATCH CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:
½  cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
tsp. fine sea salt
¼ cup (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix well. Stir in flour mixture a little at a time, just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Dough may be a little crumbly—that’s totally OK. Using a standard scoop or mini scoop, drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, gently flattening tops. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet.
Tip: Lightly spraying cookie scoop with non-stick cooking spray will keep dough from sticking.
Makes 8 or more mini cookies or 6 regular-size cookies.

What is your favorite dish for sharing? Let us know in the comments below.

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