Monday, February 15, 2010

Spaghetti Chicken

This recipe is modified from Mrs. Nancy Fry's original recipe (member of Slippery Rock Baptist Church). I've made a few changes but mostly in the order of how the recipe is put together and not to the ingredients. This can be tricky as far as time management, but if you plan ahead, it's not a problem.

3 chicken breast halves, cooked and diced (best marinated and grilled)
1 small onion, diced or chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced or chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced or chopped
2 cups chicken broth (may want more than 2 cups)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cut in cubes
1 lb spaghetti noodles

1. Cook chicken or thaw out previously cooked chicken. (Picture #2) This is one of the recipes that I make with the pre-cooked chicken mentioned here.
2. Chop veggies. (I dice my veggies so the kids don't complain when the see big chunks in their food.) Fill pot with water and heat for spaghetti.

3. Saute veggies in butter or oil until softened or translucent. Set aside. (Picture #1. I will saute veggies then cook chicken in same skillet if I don't have the chicken cooked ahead of time.) Add spaghetti noodles to boiling water and cook according to directions.

4. Cube Velveeta cheese. Add 2 cups chicken broth and 1 can cream of chicken soup to pot on stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring until soup dissolves. Add cubed Velveeta cheese. (Pictures #3) Stirring constantly until cheese is melted. Keeping a close watch that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

*This is where it gets tricky and really pays to have chicken cooked and diced ahead of time. If you want to cook chicken and dice it before starting the rest of the recipe, you can add it to sauce to reheat if it cools down. You may want to enlist the help of your children, spouse or innocent bystanders. (Picture #4)

5. Add diced chicken to the melted cheese & soup mixture. (Picture #5) If chicken has cooled, you may want to turn the heat down a little and wait a few minutes before continuing -- stirring often to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan. (I hope to add post soon on a special way to clean your pot when / if that does happen!) Drain spaghetti and add to sauce mixture.

6. At this point, you could serve it or if you want to make this ahead of time, you can pour it into a casserole dish to reheat later in the oven. Sauce will thicken over time, so you may want to add more chicken broth to thin out sauce to desired thickness.

To reheat: Place covered casserole dish in preheated oven (350 degrees) for 20 minutes or until heated through in middle.

Yield: Serves 6.

This recipe freezes well. So you can double up when you make it and freeze more for later or just freeze the leftovers. I prefer reheating it in the microwave adding chicken broth and stirring to thin it back out. I personally don't like how dried out the pasta gets baking it in the oven, so my mother-in-law and I cut out the step where raw veggies are added in the original recipe. That way it is ready to eat after combining all ingredients and doesn't need to be baked to cook the veggies. You can always add more veggies -- quantity and type -- maybe mushrooms, green chilis or substitute red pepper for color.

Please continue to pray for Ms Nancy and her family as she battles cancer.

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