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Sunday, March 20, 2011

A little bit of home

South Omaha's Finest!
Sometimes, I get homesick. I miss my big Polish/Bohemian family -- brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins -- you get the picture. When that starts to happen, I pull out the Sokol Specials, South Omaha Cookbook (aka The Bohemian Cookbook).

Growing up, this was my mother's standby cookbook. It's the home to her famous chili, dumplings and sauerkraut, roasts, desserts and  chicken and rice recipe. It's not the prettiest cookbook and doesn't have photos and when I brought it to cookbook club, I think people secretly laughed at me but those Bohemian old ladies know how to cook and so this month, it's my featured cookbook.

When my mother passed away, my grandma bought me a copy of this precious cookbook and I have cherished it ever since. So far this month I have made chili, meatloaf, lasagna but yesterday, I made my mother's famous chicken and rice recipe and got many compliments from our dinner guests.

When I was old enough to be trusted with getting dinner ready, this was a recipe that my mom would trust me to get prepared when I came home from school as it takes over two hours to bake. The ingredients and directions are so simple, a 10 year old can do it. One thing my mom usually omitted was the one envelope of onion soup mix on the top but this time, I tried it and I'd say I would probably add it again.

Chicken and Rice Casserole
from the Sokol Specials, South Omaha Cookbook (aka The Bohemian Cookbook)

1 cup of uncooked rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can milk (pour milk in soup can -- very Bohemian)
1 envelope of onion soup
1 frying chicken (cut up or quartered)

Spray 9x13 pan with oil. Sprinkle uncooked rice over bottom of pan. Heat soups (undiluted) with milk pour over rice. Wash raw chicken, pat dry and place skin side up, on the top. No need to brown the chicken first.  Sprinkle onion soup over the top. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours and 15 mins.

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