Monday, March 17, 2008

Chicken Spaghetti from The Pioneer Woman

This recipe comes directly from The Pioneer Woman Cooks! website. I fully credit her innovation and cooking skills, but I made this over the weekend and it was TO DIE FOR, and really very simple. Step by step instructions (with step by step pictures) can be found at the link above.

1 cut-up fryer OR 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-1lb. box of thin spaghetti
2 cans cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup (I prefer chicken)
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
1 (4oz.) jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. Lawry's season salt
salt
ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp. red cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Place chicken in large pot and cover with water, bring to boil and allow to boil for a few minutes, then simmer on med-low heat for 30-45 minutes. Remove chicken and reserve 2 cups of the chicken broth from the pot; set aside.
2. Add spaghetti to remaining broth in the pot and cook until al dente (do not overcook or the spaghetti will become mushy in the casserole). While spaghetti cooks, shred chicken breasts or pick the meat from the bones of the cut up fryer. You should have approx. 2 cups of chicken meat. Dice the onion and bell pepper very finely.
3. When the spaghetti is finished, drain in and place it in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken and cream of mushroom/chicken soup. Mix together then add the onion, bell pepper, diced pimentos and 2 cups of the shredded cheese.
4. Now add the Lawry's seasoned salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper (1/8 tsp is about right, especially if you're feeding this to kids). Taste the mixture and add salt if necessary. Now, add the reserved chicken broth one cup at a time until the mixture becomes stirrable, but NOT soupy (usually just under 2 cups). Place the mixture in a casserole dish (at least 9x13 size) and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden.

This makes a very FULL 9x13 pan of casserole, but it was gone in no time at our house. The boys loved it, too. They even ate the included veggies (dicing them finely is the trick). Enjoy!