Once upon a time, I thought I’d come up with the best poppyseed chicken recipe ever. I shared it over at creatingagreatday.com too because it really is quite wonderful. Well, that was a few years ago. Earlier this month it was my husband’s birthday, and since poppyseed chicken is one of his favorite dishes (hence the reason why I had determined myself to discover the best poppy seed chicken recipe ever), that’s what we made him for his birthday dinner. I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe over the last few years, sometimes out of accident, other times due to lack of inventory (like when you only have 1 yogurt cup, but the recipe calls for 2), and other times due to lack of time (like when a rotisserie chicken gets called in instead of cooking my own chicken at home). As a result of all this accommodating, I’ve found that some of my modifications made for a better (and sometimes worse) dish. And now, the result is what I really believe to be the best poppy seed chicken you have ever tasted.
FIVE cups shredded rotisserie chicken (TIP: this is basically 1 large rotisserie chicken, and when I say large, I mean Sam’s Club large, so if your grocery store is serving you a rotisserie cornish hen, get yourself two of them)
TWO 5.3oz plain greek yogurt (nonfat) cups
ONE and a HALF 10.5oz cans cream of chicken
ONE tsp celery salt
ONE and a QUARTER tsp garlic powder
TWO tsp worcestershire sauce
FOUR tbsp lemon juice
ONE stick of unsalted butter (8oz)
EIGHT oz of crackers (you want to use Ritz crackers or a cracker like Ritz crackers– see pic and more on this below)
FOUR tbsp of poppy seeds
Mix your shredded chicken, plain greek yogurt, cream of chicken, celery salt, w. sauce, and lemon juice very well in a large mixing bowl.
Spray your baking pan with non-stick spray. Scoop your chicken mixture into your baking pan and spread it out evenly.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Melt your stick of butter in a microwave safe dish (I prefer my glass Pyrex measuring cups because they make pouring, that step comes later, hot butter a whole lot easier.)
Crunch up 8 oz (this is two rolls) of crackers inside a gallon ziplock bag.
If you have little ones, this is a great way to get them involved in making dinner. Since I have two little ones, each got their own bag with 4 oz of crackers (one roll’s worth) to crunch up.
After you’ve crunched them up really well (you don’t want to crunch it to a powder, but you do want to crunch most of it into small pieces that are smaller than a pea, I have a pic below), add 4 T of poppy seeds and shake very well.
Pour your crunched cracker / poppy seed mixture into a new mixing bowl (not the one that had your chicken in it) and pour your melted butter over the cracker mixture.
I prefer to use a wooden spatula to stir and coat every crumble of cracker with the melted butter.
Once you’ve accomplished that, pour your buttery, poppy seed adorned crackers over the chicken mixture in your baking dish and spread evenly.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating dish half way through. You’ll know it’s done when you insert a knife into the center, and the knife comes out warm.
I always serve this with a side of bread and a veggie. Sometimes that veggie is salad, sometimes it’s green beans, but the one thing that is always consistent is when poppy seed chicken is on the table, smiles are around it.
I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do.
Until next time,
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