I love me some comfort food. It’s always warm, usually cheesy, and normally has at least a few ingredients from the “cream of (fill in the blank)” category. And this recipe, my friends, is no exception.
But before I continue on with this yummy goodness, I would like to tell you that I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks (visit her link to the right). I like to call her my food blog mother. I like to call her that, but I would like for her to never know I call her that. Because it might be creepy.
But that’s okay, because she has no idea who I am, and she doesn’t read my blog. I think I’m safe.
Anyway, this recipe is from her. And her recipes make me all warm and fuzzy. They’re the kind of foods I like to eat in when it gets cold and I start plumping up for the winter. And since it snowed today, let the plumping begin.
Okay, first you start with spaghetti. I use thin spaghetti. Not angel hair, but something between that and regular spaghetti. Boil it up in some chicken broth and water. (I use one can chicken broth, the rest water.) Note here, my food blog mother actually takes a whole chicken boils it, and cooks her pasta in the chicken water. I, on the other hand, buy a pre-roasted chicken, so that’s not an option. What can I say. I don’t have time to cook. I have to go watch Desperate Housewives.
Oh, and in addition to being lazy and buying a pre-cooked chicken, I also use frozen, pre-chopped green peppers and onions. They are my best friends. We hang out in the kitchen, talking about Eva Longoria and how she had to gain weight for this season of Desperate Housewives. And how I’m doing the same thing, but without a director telling me to. Because I’m proactive like that.
Then, you rip up the chicken, dump it all in a bowl, and add your peppers and onions. And see those red things down there? They’re pimentos. And when I first made this recipe, I nearly rebelled and didn’t use them. Because, what the heck is a pimento anyway? But I used them, and I think they’re pretty. They add nice color, and I think they taste just fine.
To the chicken mixture, you add two cans of cream of mushroom soup, a heaping cup of cheese (she uses two cups, but I didn’t have enough) the spaghetti, and chicken broth as needed to thicken. Sprinkle with cheese, pop in the oven, and wait. It is oh so yummy and it makes me oh so happy.
And you should go make a big pan right now. And it freezes really well, if you’re alone like me and you can’t possibly eat the whole lot by yourself. Or you can, but you’d prefer not to waddle.
The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti (slightly adapted by me–mostly because I’m lazy and my pantry was low)
2 cups cooked chicken (one small roasted chicken)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2-3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1-4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two-inch pieces
2-4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook spaghetti in 2 cups of chicken broth mixed with enough water to fill pot. Cook until very al dente. Do not overcook!
While spaghetti cooks, skin chicken, take off bones and chop into bite-size pieces.
Mix spaghetti with chicken, 1-2 cups cheese and the rest of the ingredients.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly.