Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti

Not sure what to say.  I used to be so against you cream of chicken soup.  Why did I hold such a grudge against you cream of chicken soup?  Life gets messy.  There is no time for roux.  I have eaten crow....I have used three cans of cream of chicken soup in 2 days......

This chicken spaghetti was delicious.  I thought it was fantabulous.  Almost everyone at the table licked their plate, except the one who does not like any type of noodle meal....we have an arranged marriage set up for that child....there are other kids out there who don't like noodles.  Who knew.

Ready to mix all the ingredients together.  Why dirty a bowl when you can use the pot you boiled the chicken and noodles that is using your noodle.

Ready to bake....this casserole dish is possibly my favorite kitchen item.  It is a 3 quart enameled cast iron casserole with a lid. 

Who wouldn't love this...except Rowdy Jr.

Give credit where credit is due...the original Chicken Spaghetti was pioneered by the Pioneer Woman.

2 large chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 lb. thin spaghetti, broken into 2" pieces
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 4 oz. jar pimentos, drained and finely diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups water, reserved from the chicken and noodle boiling
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese (or mild)
1 t. Lawry's season salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Rinse the chicken breasts and drop in boiling water.  (I actually boiled a whole package of chicken breasts and reserved the rest for another day.)  Reduce to a simmer and simmer chicken for about 25 minutes, until cooked through.  (Now the pioneer woman used a whole chicken, which would make the broth much more flavorful than just some breasts, so I did throw 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon in there, but I don't think it will make or break the recipe if you don't.)  While the chicken is cooking dice the onion, bell pepper and pimentos, break up noodles, open soup cans and grate cheese.  When chicken is done return water to a full boil and throw in the noodles.  Cook the noodles al dente so they won't be mush when baked in the oven.  When noodles are done scoop out 2 cups of water, reserving for mixing with the rest of the casserole ingredients.  Using the same pot you just boiled everything in mix together the noodles, chicken, onion, bell pepper, pimentos, cream of chicken soup, 2/3 of the grated cheese, season salt and reserved water.  Once you have it mixed together thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste.  I did not add any extra salt since cream of anything tends to be slightly salty.  Grease a 3 quart casserole dish and pour chicken spaghetti in.  Top with remaining cheese and baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  You can also make this a day or so ahead and store in the fridge or store in the freezer for a quick meal.  This casserole would be a great take to someone who just had a baby casserole or for your next potluck.

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