Ali’s Birthday – Part 2, Heart Attack Chicken

Don’t let the name scare you off. It’s just what we call it at our house. I don’t know if my mom had a name for it, but in the two church cookbooks that I have submitted this recipe I have called it Sunday Chicken Bake because a.) I want people to try it, and b.) it won’t really give you a heart attack… at least I don’t think so!

As I have said before, my mom didn’t have a lot of variety in her cooking. She was not a very adventurous cook and we had a lot of the same things along with those recipes made with processed foods famous in the 70’s like Velveeta and Shake-n-Bake. What I do remember is that when we would come home from church on Sunday, we always ate dinner – a big meal that was ready to go within an hour of our arrival at home. Some meat had been roasting in the oven or something had been simmering on the stove. I never seem to be able to do that and we end up eating dinner at night.

This is one of those recipes that can cook low and slow in the oven or you can speed up the process just by turning up the temperature. It is quite delicious either way. This is one of those recipes that she didn’t make often but made a big impression on me. I tried this once with bone-in chicken breasts, but it falls apart because of the slow cooking and there were bones all through the gravy and that made me mad. It makes the most amazing gravy, which in my house is always served over rice. I can eat a bowlful of rice and this gravy any time! It is fabulous,just not with bones! I also usually pair it with baby carrots… don’t ask me why, they just seem to go perfect with this chicken.

Yesterday was Ali’s 19th birthday. This meal is her request every single year. I usually make it one other time during the year and that is about it because if you eat it any more often than that, you WILL have a heart attack! Don’t try to go all healthy and substitute turkey bacon or turkey pastrami or low-fat anything. It will not be the same.



6-8 bone-in chicken thighs or boneless breasts
1/2 lb. bacon
4-6 thin slices deli pastrami
2 cans cream of mushroom or celery soup
2 cups sour cream

Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with slices of pastrami. It is good if it goes up the sides a little bit. Wrap each piece of chicken in a slice of bacon and lay on top of the pastrami. Mix the soup and sour cream thoroughly and spread on top of the chicken. Cover with foil and bake either low and slow at 225′ for 4 hours or 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

The birthday celebration concludes tomorrow with the dessert recipe. It is much lighter than dinner… sort of 🙂

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