Chicken in a Basket


Chicken in a biscuitToday I want to share a special comfort food recipe with you. Chicken in a Basket.

Chicken in a Basket was served at Kappa Alpha Theta on the final day of sorority rush  at WSU back in the 1980’s. Very retro – even back then  – Chicken in a Basket is two Pillsbury crescent rolls wrapped around a creamy chicken filling, topped with butter and crushed croutons and baked to a golden brown.

Assembling Chicken in a Basket

Assembling Chicken in a Bakset

I remember sitting at a formal table in the Theta’s dining room on the last day of rush – talking nervously and trying to eat this surprisingly yummy lunch slowly. I ended up pledging Theta, which is how I met several of my closest life-long friends, including Joy, and how I got my first experience cooking in a commercial kitchen as the weekend cook at the sorority.

Our house just celebrated 100 years on the WSU campus with a centennial celebration last weekend and Joy and I both had so much fun seeing old friends and re-living old memories.


Over 400 alumnae returned for the Alpha Sigma chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta Centennial Reunion! Photo by WSU photographer, Bob Hubner

Going back to the house made me think of how much we all looked forward to nights when Chicken in a Basket showed up on the menu. So, when we got home from the reunion I decided to make this long-lost recipe and share it with you and  all of our friends who lived at the WSU Theta house in the 1980’s.  Mmmmm….
Theta Chicken in a biscuit

I’ve made a few adaptions to Mrs. Smith’s original recipe, but it tastes very much the same. Here is a copy of the original from a house cookbook published in the 1980’s…

Mrs. Smith's recipe for Chicken in a Basket

Mrs. Smith’s recipe for Chicken in a Basket

You can make the chicken filling up to two days in advance. This is a very easy recipe that everyone seems to love.


Chicken in a Basket
Recipe Type: Entree, Comfort Food, Chicken
Author: A Passionate Plate – Adapted from Judy Smith
Serves: 8
Chicken in a biscuit is comfort food. Joy and I both were introduced to this recipe at WSU. Back in the 1980’s, the Kappa Alpha Theta house at WSU served this on the final day of rush. For those of us who lived in the Theta house during that time, this recipe holds very special memories.
  • 1 and 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 12 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick), plus extra for brushing on tops
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 2 packages Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1/2 cup crushed seasoned croutons
  1. Place the chicken in a deep pot and cover completely with water.
  2. Bring the pot to a simmer and gently poach the chicken until it is cooked through (20 to 30 minutes depending on thickness).
  3. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into small dice.
  6. Meanwhile, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter in a medium sauce pan.
  7. Add the onion and cook until limp, about three minutes.
  8. Add the remaining butter, cream cheese and garlic salt.
  9. Cook over medium heat until the cream cheese is melted.
  10. Whisk together until smooth.
  11. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the chicken and stir to combine.
  12. Lay out the crescent roll dough, leaving two triangles attached (each package will make four biscuits – recipe makes 8 total).
  13. Place a scoop of chicken mixture in the middle of each piece of dough.
  14. Bring the corners up to the center and pinch gently together, forming each into a square.
  15. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with croutons.
  16. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  17. Serve hot or at room temperature.



  1. Elizabeth Wilkins says:

    So thrilled to have this and with your wonderful adaptions. xoxoxo

  2. Nicole Furfaro says:

    Thanks ladies! Fond memories from the 80’s,, can’t wait to make it for my kids, they will love the retro food!

  3. Ann Harrison says:

    Great post, ladies! Thanks for posting Mrs. Smith’s recipe too!

  4. Margretta says:

    This looks so good! And I like your description of looking forward to seeing on the menu.

  5. chacha says:

    What a great idea for a luncheon with maybe asparagus on the side??? Cant wait to try this out. TKS

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