Toss the cracker crumbs with the melted butter until well mixed. Set aside.
Put the chicken tenders and the bay leaf in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Just when the water boils, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Cook the egg noodles in plenty of salted boiling water until they are just barely tender, in other words, par cook them, they will finish cooking in the oven. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and whisk in the flour. Whisk for a minute, without letting the mixture brown.
Whisk in the chicken stock, and then the evaporated milk and poppy seeds. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Season well with salt and pepper.
Spoon a bit of the sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with the noodles. Arrange the poached chicken tenders over the noodles. Pour the sauce over all.
Top with the Ritz crumbs.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbling throughout.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/poppy-seed-chicken-casserole-recipe/ November 16, 2016