Carmem’s Cream of Chicken is a combination of stewed chicken with tomatoes, onions and herbs, that is then mixed with a white rich sauce combined with some of the chicken broth, table cream and parmesan cheese. When it’s ready, it’s creamy, velvety and tasty. It’s another dish that my kids request.
A little bit of background on the origins of this Cream of Chicken recipe
Let me start by saying that I am not a big fan of chicken. However there are a few chicken recipes that do remind me of my childhood and some very special people. This one in particular, reminds me of my confirmation Godmother, Carmem Daiha, someone that I have the outmost respect for. She is one incredible woman. I would need an entire book to describe her and what impact she has had in my life.
But this blog is about the food and the memories that they create. I remember that many times when there was a family gathering of some sort, she would bring this delicious version of Cream of Chicken and it was one of the crowd’s favorites. To be honest with you whatever she brought was always a crowd favorite. Until this day, when I go visit Brazil, I cherish going over her house for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There is always some simple and special treat available.
How I prepare Carmem’s Cream of Chicken
The first step is to cook the chicken. I usually only buy boneless, skinless chicken breast. Again, I am not a big fan of chicken. Because of that, I usually by around 10lbs at a time, cook it all, shred it and freeze it. That way I don’t have to deal with chicken for a couple of months.
After I clean the chicken breasts with lemon and water, remove any fat that was left, I dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper. I add the olive oil to my cast iron pot (present from in-laws, love that pot!), chopped onions, minced garlic and diced tomatoes. After about 5 minutes, I add the chicken and stir until all is mixed. Cook for another 5 minutes and add the water and chicken bullion (or chicken broth), bay leaf, cumin, chopped cilantro and tomato extract. Make sure the chicken is fully submerged under the broth, if not, add additional water. The chicken should be fully cooked in 45 minutes. Wait for it to cool down and shred the chicken into a separate bowl. Strain the broth and set it aside.
- If you don’t want to shred the chicken by hand, just put the chicken while still hot in the food processor and pulse it a couple of times.
- At this point I put my can of Table Cream in the refrigerator. Why, you might ask? Because it will separate the water and the cream. That way when you are ready, you can scoop just the cream into the dish and discard the water.
Because I cook a lot of chicken, I take what I will need for the Cream of Chicken and freeze the rest in separate containers ( for the shredded chicken and chicken broth). I will post some additional recipes in the future that will use both. Don’t worry!
With the chicken ready, turn the oven to 375. It’s time to start working on the cream part of this dish. I start by making a roux. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir until the flour is starting to brown. While stirring add the milk, salt and pepper. When the sauce starts to become thick, add the chicken broth and Parmesan cheese. Once it’s all incorporated, add the table cream and remove from the heat.
In a 9X13 baking dish mix the shredded chicken and the corn. Spread the cream on top. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese on top and bake for 45 minutes.
In our house, we love Carmen’s Cream of Chicken over white rice. So good. Thank you Dinda (Godmother in Portuguese).
Carmem’s Cream of Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- 2 lb. of skinless, boneless chicken breast washed with water and lemon
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 tomatoes chopped or 1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 Tbsp of tomato extract
- 2 Tbsp of chopped cilantro
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 cups of Chicken Broth or 1 Tbsp of Chicken Bouillon dissolved in 2 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp of butter
- 2 Tbsp of flour
- 2 cups of milk
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups of the reserved chicken broth
- 1 can (7.6 fl oz) of Nestle Table Cream
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese
Carmen’s Cream of Chicken Recipe Instructions
- In a heavy pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato extract, cilantro, bay leaf, cumin, salt and pepper. Make sure the chicken is covered with the liquid, add water if needed. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
- Shred the chicken and strain the liquid. You will need 2 cups of the chicken broth for the cream. Reserve.
- Melt the butter, add the flour and stir until it turns light brown.
- Add milk while stirring. Add salt and pepper. Stir until liquid starts to bubble and become thick, between 10-15 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and stir well.
- Add the cream and the parmesan cheese. Combine all and remove from the heat.
Assemble the dish
- Warm the oven to 375.
- In a 13X9 dish add the shred chicken, cream and 1 bag (12 oz) of frozen corn (optional). Sprinkle the dish with 2 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese.
- Cook in the over for 30 minutes or until the top is bubbly and golden. Serve it with white rice.