Sunday, May 5, 2013

Chicken Spaghetti

So there's something you need to know if you don't know it already. Chicken Spaghetti is delicious. Now, it's nothing fancy.  It relies upon the Holy Trinity of East Texas: cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, and melted cheese. It's the comfort food trifecta, if you will.  While you'll find endless variations of this classic dish, I wanted to share my tried and true method. When I pull it out of the oven, cheesy and bubbling, I feel like I'm back at home, back in my mother's kitchen. Serve yourself a heaping plateful alongside a glass of sweet tea, and you've got yourself a meal.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 lb chicken breast tenderloins 
(you could also use boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs)
1 lb spaghetti
~1 tsp salt
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 oz mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Gently drop in the chicken, and boil for about 10 minutes, until cooked through (you may have to boil them for about 20 minutes if you use whole chicken breasts)

When done, remove the chicken from the water with tongs, place on a cutting board, and shred the meat with two forks.

Meanwhile, bring the water back to a boil, and add in salt and the spaghetti. Cook according to package directions. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In a large bowl, toss together the spaghetti, shredded chicken, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, celery, mushrooms, seasoned salt, 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese, and reserved pasta water.

When well combined, spread into a greased 9"x13" baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cheese is fully melted and the casserole is bubbling.

2 comments:

  1. Seems tasty, but incredibly salty - 1 tsp salt + lawry's + two kinds of condensed soup = heaps o' sodium. Could you get away with just lawry's and the soup? I guess it also depends on how many people you serve with the dish...

    On the positive side, I definitely like the idea of cooking the pasta in the water you just boiled the chicken in - seems like it would add extra depth of flavor.

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  2. Hey Victoria! It's maybe not as much as you think. The tsp of salt is just to season your pasta water so your spaghetti isn't bland, so just salt the water as you normally would when cooking pasta. A tsp is just a rough estimate. If you want to reduce the sodium, I sometimes use the Healthy Request variety of the soups which has about half the sodium, I believe. And you could leave out the Lawry's all together if you like. It adds a little extra flavor, but it's by no means essential.

    I'm definitely a fan of cooking the pasta and chicken in the same water for just the reason you mentioned! I hope you enjoy this if you try it sometime! :)

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