Chicken Spaghetti

I was really excited to try this one.  This is the Pioneer Woman’s recipe and it seems like everything that comes out of her kitchen is YUMMY!!  This recipe was no exception.  As I’m writing this I’m thinking about the leftovers in the fridge and my mouth is watering!

For this recipe you will need:

chicken (any cut you want, I will explain further down), a package of thin spaghetti, 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, grated sharp cheddar cheese, a green bell pepper, onion, 4 oz jar of pimentos, Lawry’s seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.

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The first thing you want to do is cook your chicken.  The original recipe calls for chicken parts, but you can really use any cut you want (breasts, thighs).  I thought I would be Suzy Homemaker and get a whole chicken.  It was cheaper and I figured it would leave me a lot of leftover chicken to use later in the week.  I got about a 4-5 lb whole chicken.

For starters, you want to put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.  Whichever cut you choose, you want to rinse it with cold water in the sink. Set chicken aside and wash, wash, wash your hands.  I’m a stickler for hand washing when dealing with chicken.  I wash anytime I come into contact with anything that may have touched the raw chicken.  When the water starts to boil, add in the chicken.  You want to leave it at a rolling boil for a few minutes and then turn it down to simmer for about 30-45 minutes.  This part took me longer because I got the whole freaking chicken.  It took about 1 1/2 hours for my chicken to cook all the way through.

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While the chicken is cooking, you start cutting up the bell pepper and the onion.  You will need about 1/4 of a cup of each.  I just eyeball it.  You want these diced.  Also, drain the jar of pimentos.  I had a hard time finding these in the grocery store.  You would think they would be in the olive and vinegar area, but I found them with the canned mushrooms.  Good luck on your search. Add these to the bowl with the veggies.

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You can also break up your spaghetti.  I used one of the small boxes and it was perfect for us.  I broke it up into thirds.  Set it aside.

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When your chicken is done cooking (juices run clear), remove it from the pot and set it aside to cool.  Remove 2 cups of the broth from the pot and set it aside for later.  Turn the heat up to high and get it back to a rolling boil.  Add the spaghetti to the pot.  Cook it until it is very al dente (you are going to cook it more later so you don’t want it to turn to mush).  It will be soft but still have a bite to it. Drain it and set it aside.

By now your chicken should be cool enough to handle.  The recipe called for 2 cups of cooked chicken pieces, but my family said next time to add more.  Whatever your preference is.  By this time, I was done and irritated with the fact that I’d gotten a whole chicken and it was taking forever so I just took the breasts off and shredded them.

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Put the chicken in a rather large mixing bowl, add the cooked spaghetti, 2 cans of cream of mushroom, the onion, bell pepper, and pimentos, 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1 tsp of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (I started with 1/8 and it wasn’t enough so I sprinkled a little more on and it was perfect for a little kick but it wasn’t too spicy), and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix it well.

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If it seems a little dry add some of the chicken stock you set aside earlier.  It should be easy to stir but not too soupy.

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Taste test it to make sure there is enough salt, pepper, and cayenne to your liking.  It should be well seasoned.  Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Grab a casserole dish, any shape will do, just make sure it’s big enough to fit everything.  I used my Pampered Chef rectangular baker (I LOVE Pampered Chef).  Put everything in the casserole dish and add about another cup of shredded sharp cheddar to the top.

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Pop it in the over and you want to cook it about 30-35 minutes, until it gets bubbly.  It’s going to start smelling so delicious! Pull it out and enjoy!  My family really loved it, but it is kind of heavy on the stomach so maybe pair it with something fresh and light, like a salad.  Try this one out and let me know how it works for you!  Until then, I leave you with this picture that will make your mouth water! 😉

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