So far this summer in New England it seems to be nice on Saturdays and rainy on Sundays. And since my day off is Saturday I am not complaining.
But rainy Sundays call for casseroles and slow-cookers and things that warm you up on a day not fit for man or beast!
This casserole is adapted from a recipe by the red-headed lady who lives on a cattle ranch and cooks on TV. You know the one, she considers herself a “pioneer.”
Behold my version of “chicken and spaghetti” ( get it “chick-n-sketti) casserole!
This dish is great as a make ahead for a pot-luck, freezes beautifully and leftovers can be portioned out for lunches!
1.25-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
12 cups water (or enough water to cover and freely boil the chicken/pasta in your pot)
1 low sodium chicken bouillon cube
couple dashes of poultry seasoning ( I like “Bells”)
1/2 med white onion cut into fine dice
1 large green bell pepper cut into fine dice ( I used 2 medium size ‘cubanelles’ cause that is what I had)
1 40z jar diced pimentos, drained.
1 can ( 10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 12oz box of spaghetti (broken up into small, aprox 1″ -2″ long pieces)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese ( separated into 2 cups)
1-2 tsp seasoned salt
1-2 tsp garlic powder
dashes of hot sauce to taste ( I like frank!)
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup of the water/broth reserved from cooking chicken/pasta ( may use less – depends on thickness of soup*)
Combine the water, bouillon, poultry seasoning and bring to a rolling boil. Add chicken and boil for 5 minutes, turn down heat to simmer and cover and cook 20 -25 mins more. Remove chicken and set aside to be shredded. Add pasta to same broth/water and cook till just al dente – don’t overcook. Cook about 2-3 mins under package recommendations for al dente. Remove pasta and retain at least a cup of the cooking broth/water. Lightly saute the onions in a tablespoon of butteror oil till they are just soft and a little golden. Combine the cooked pasta, shredded chicken, sauteed onions, diced peppers and pimentos, soups, broth/water*, seasoned salt, garlic powder, peppers, hot sauce and 1 cup of the cheddar till mixed and turn into a sprayed baking dish. You will need at least a 2 quart size. You can taste for seasoning at this point because your ingredients/chicken should be fully cooked. Adjust as needed. (more salt, more hot sauce etc) Sprinkle the other cup of cheese on top and bake uncovered in a 350 degree preheated oven for 35-40 mins until cheese is brown and bubbly on top.
*use enough of the cooking water/broth to get the mix creamy but not too liquid. However the baking in the oven will help dry/thicken up things up -so err on the side of creamy rather than too “tight’
Full disclosure… I used Gluten Free Pasta and Gluten free canned soup…. shhh don’t tell the hubby!