This Better Homes & Gardens Prize Tested Recipe, from the May, 1955, issue, comes to us courtesy of Mrs. Francis D. Lewis from Brackney, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Lewis tells us that this Ham-Chicken Bake is the perfect recipe for when you want an easy company meal. And, easy it is! It really is just about layering some ham and chicken slices and then pouring the quick-to-make white sauce over it.
One of the things I’ve been noticing as I’ve been browsing mid-century “company” recipes and watching Julia Child’s early episodes of The French Chef is that the meals really weren’t as fancy as we think they were. I’m wondering when we started thinking that dinner for company meant something elaborate and over the top and hours in front of the stove growing bitter or anxious by the minute. Just something to think about.
I’ve updated the recipe to use low-sodium sliced ham and chicken from the deli. Trust me, you’ll want the low-sodium version because the regular versions of the deli meat are just too salty tasting when you are having it this way. And, do you really want to be retaining water for what seems like weeks?
- 1 pound reduced-sodium sliced deli ham
- 1 pound reduced-sodium sliced deli chicken
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2/3 cup half and half
- dash pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 3-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained (or sliced fresh mushrooms, sauteed, to equal 3/4 cup )
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Alternate layers of ham and chicken in a 10x6x1 1/2-inch backing dish.
- Melt butter in a saucepan.
- Blend in flour with a wire whisk. Remove from heat.
- Off heat, slowly whisk in the broth and half and half. Return to heat.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
- Add pepper, onion, and mushrooms to the sauce. Stir to blend thoroughly.
- Pour sauce over the ham and chicken.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the sauce.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes.