This is one of my all-time favs that my mom used to make. It is my idea of comfort food and is just darn tasty!! I love this recipe because it is enough for a crowd or you can make it, section it and freeze it. When you thaw and heat it, it tastes just like fresh-made.
11 stewing hen or about 2 large boneless, skinless breasts (I like to use the breasts because it’s easier and there is less fat).
Cover the chicken with 6 cups of water and cook until tender. (Chicken should be falling off the bone, breasts will be very tender). Save the broth for the gravy, (debone if using whole chicken). Shred or dice and set aside.
2Sauté in one cup of butter or margarine;
1 large onion chopped or diced
1-2 cups celery, chopped or diced
Add sautéed ingredients to 1 large pkg. of seasoned bread cubes or dressing mix, 1-2 eggs and enough broth to moisten.
Melt 1 cup butter or margarine in a large sauce pan; slowly add 1 cup of flour, stirring constantly. Slowly add 4 cups of the broth (if you want it a bit richer add some powdered chicken broth mix), stirring with a wire whisk until slightly thickened, add 1 cup milk (anything from cream to nonfat will work), 1 tbsp. salt and however much pepper you want. Remove from heat and gradually stir in 4 beaten eggs. In a deep casserole dish, layer the dressing mix, gravy and chicken (usually 3 layers does it).
Brown 1 cup bread crumbs (I like the Panko bread crumbs) in 2 tsp. butter or margarine. Sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until set in center. If you refrigerate the casserole before you bake it, it will take longer.