Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

(courtesy of Gail Sande in Reno. Serves 18)

During the 35 years in which John Sande served as a lobbyist at the Nevada Legislature, the Sandes were well known for the wonderful, gracious, and welcoming dinners they hosted in their home for many legislators. Gail was kind enough to share two of her favorite recipes from that era, which she says were both easy for the hostess to prepare and longtime crowd favorites.

36 chicken thighs
Salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste
¾ cup butter or margarine
¾ pound mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons (¼ cup) all-purpose flour
1½ cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons sherry
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped, or ½ teaspoon crumbled, dried rosemary

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika. Using a large frying pan, melt half the butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken, in batches so as not to crowd meat, and cook until all pieces are nicely browned. Transfer to large, shallow baking pan, arranging meat in single layer. Add remaining butter to frying pan and sauté mushrooms until softened and lightly brown, and liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and stir in chicken broth, sherry, and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until mixture has thickened, then pour over chicken. (If preparing in advance, you can cover and chill casserole at this point until you’re ready to cook it.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover casserole and bake 1 hour. (If refrigerated, increase to 1 hour 20 minutes.)

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