Recipe courtesy of Sandra Umberger,
Bolivar, Tennessee
Yield: 10 to 12 servings

1 cup rice, cooked according to package directions
9 tablespoons butter, divided
½ medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup chopped celery
1 (10¾-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
¾ cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellman’s
½ cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
¾ cup chicken broth
1 cup crushed buttery round crackers, such as Ritz

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray a 2½-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion and celery, and cook until onion is softened, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Add soup, mayonnaise, cooked rice, almonds, lemon juice, salt, and poppy seeds to skillet, mixing well. Gently stir in chicken and broth. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

4. Melt remaining 8 tablespoons butter. In a small bowl, combine crushed crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle topping over chicken mixture.

5. Bake until edges of casserole are bubbly, approximately 25 minutes.