When we were kids, we spent a few Easter Sundays celebrating with my sister-in-law's family. We always loved to go there because they lived in a 1920's mansion with huge grounds, big rooms, hidden doorways, high ceilings and gorgeous fireplaces. We'd never been in a house like that before. It was huge. It was beautiful. It was so much fun to explore.
Spending Easter there was a lot of fun. Much of the fun was because of my sister-in-law's sister, Patty. She didn't have any kids of her own, but she had fun hiding eggs all over the lawn outside and she dressed up in a bunny costume to take pictures with the kids.
Sadly, Patty passed away a few years ago in her 40's, but I think about her as Easter approaches because she played a big part in my memories of Easter as a child.
Once I was grown up I remember going to the mansion (we all called it the "Big House") for my sister-in-law's baby shower. Patty did much of the planning and arrangements for the shower and had made a delicious Artichoke Chicken Casserole. This was long before my foodie days when I was a new mom and wasn't very adventurous when it came to food and I think it was the first time I'd ever had artichokes. It was so good and I asked Patty to share the recipe with me. I still have it tucked in my cookbook in her handwriting, so with it being Easter weekend and me again remembering her, I thought it was an appropriate time to share it.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 large cans of artichokes (quartered)
3 packages of Swiss Cheese
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
Saute chicken in olive oil, lemon, white wine and a touch of garlic. Shred the cooked chicken.
Cut the cheese into small cubes. Blend in the mayo and chicken and artichokes.
Pour into a baking dish, cover the mixture with bread crumbs, cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or so. Remove the foil for the last five minutes or so to brown the top. I like to serve with rye bread.