Chicken S.O.S. – A He-Man’s Breakfast for Sissies Gourmet Photographer

With this recent cold spell passing through, it’s nice to have a change from the cold cereal that Queen Anne ‘cooks’ every morning.  I know that she tries to be creative, but sliced bananas and raisins only go so far. On days like these, I like something warm and hearty that sticks to the ribs. Since my brain isn’t up to speed at the crack of dawn, it needs to be simple to make. I came up with this concoction last year when our pantry was depleted and I liked it enough to keep it in my repertoire.

Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup
Cream of Chicken Soup – it makes a hearty breakfast too.

Back in my short military conscription days (yes kids, there was a time when they would come drag you from your home), breakfast was the meal that had the best choices of food. But between the steam pans of rubber scrambled eggs and fried hockey pucks, there was always a pot of gray gooey glop with bits of brown chunks in it. Its formal name was Chipped Beef on Toast, but it’s better known as S.O.S. (look it up). My dad liked it and even made it once. My sisters and I refused to eat it. We didn’t even taste it. Years later, my curiosity got the better of me when I saw some in a Stouffer’s box so I bought and tried it. Guess what! It was bad. I don’t know why because I like red-eye gravy on chicken fried steak and I’ll occasionally gag down an order of biscuits and gravy. It had to be the mystery-meat that was in it. So, in my recipe, I replaced it with known chicken parts and a better tasting gravy.


  • A 10 ½ ounce can of Cream of Chicken soup—like Campbell’s
  • ¼ cup of dry white wine—Vermouth, Sherry, Chardonnay it doesn’t matter.
  • ¼ cup of chicken broth
  • 8 ounces (about) of Costco Rotisserie Chicken meat (They sell yesterday’s leftovers in the deli which Anne freezes in 8-ounce portions).
  • A pinch of Poultry Seasoning or your own combination of celery flakes, sage, and thyme.
  • An English muffin for each serving.


The consistency is important. You don’t want to make soup, but you don’t want the kindergarten paste that comes out of the can either. The mixture should sit on the muffin and ooze off slowly. I find that thinning the base with a half can of liquid works best. The wine provides an acidic brightness that I like, but a half can is too much. You can blend the wine and chicken stock to get the taste that you like. I use a 1:1 ratio, but you can use all wine, all chicken stock, or all water if that’s all you have. It doesn’t matter; you’re not supposed to have to think about math in the morning. Combine all the liquids into a pot and heat on medium-high.

As the sauce begins to heat, split and toast your muffins. Chop the chicken meat into smaller chunks and add that to the sauce. Season the mixture with herbs. There’s enough salt in the soup and chicken that you don’t need more, but you can add your favorite pepper if you like some spice. When the sauce starts to boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for five to fifteen minutes—stirring occasionally—allowing the seasonings to blend. Arrange the split English muffins on a plate and glop the gravy on top, then you can garnish with more herbs and maybe a pinch of cayenne or paprika for color. There is enough sauce for two servings so you can share with your sweetie or—better yet—you can have seconds if they turn their nose up.


  • Can of soup has 300
  • 8 oz of chicken breast is 300
  • Herbs add nothing
  • Wine is less than 30
  • Chicken stock is 10
  • English Muffin is 130

The entire pot and a muffin add up to 770 calories and a serving is about half (or less), so each serving is 385 calories. That’s less than two Krispy Crème doughnuts. It’s a warm hearty breakfast that tastes good if not downright decadent. Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think.

Till next time—jw

2 thoughts on “Chicken S.O.S. – A He-Man’s Breakfast for Sissies Gourmet Photographer

  1. This recipe from the once creative gourmand that shared his fabulous sausage hot dog wrapped in a flour tortilla and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. The best ever . And then there’s those yummy pretzels and peppers.

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