Been out of the home-cooking scene for quite a while now. Recently, out of sheer boredom I started browsing through the Food Network website and finally discovered Ree Drummond. Her recipes look simple, inexpensive and quite comfort food-ish; totally my kind of food. So over the weekend I decided to try out one of her recipes – Chicken Spaghetti. Overall it turned out well; for Rudy and I, our only complaint was there wasn’t enough cheddar flavor, so I was thinking of adding more cheddar into the mixture next time round. For my mom and Kak’mbang, however, it was just right and not too rich so one can definitely have seconds with no problems (yes, both pint-sized women had seconds). So perhaps we can stick to the recipe and serve extra grated cheddar instead. Do try it out!
Based on Ree’s chicken recipe here.
Updated on 24 Feb 2018 with new pictures. I used cream of chicken & mushroom soup instead of plain mushroom, because I feel it is more flavorful. I also upped the amount of cheese on top, using about 1 1/2 cups usually. Having made this several times I think the type and brand of cheese that we use does make a difference; Kraft’s sharp cheddar turned out best for me. For a richer sauce, you can up the amount of soup by using 1 305-gram can and 1 420-gram can. Definitely a crowd pleaser at potlucks.
- 1 whole raw chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 500 gm thin spaghetti, each stick broken into 4 pieces
- 3 to 4 cups (12 to 16 oz/425 to 500 grams) shredded sharp Cheddar
- 1/4 cup (about 1/4 small) finely diced green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup (about 1/4 small) finely diced red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Two 10 3/4-ounce (305 grams) cans Campbell’s Cream of Chicken & Mushroom (if unavailable, Cream of Mushroom is fine)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to a boil. Add the chicken pieces to the boiling water and boil for a few minutes, and then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer, for 1 hour.
If using a pressure cooker, add the chicken pieces to the pot, and add enough water to cover. Add the salt.
Cook using the Chicken/Duck setting, 20 minutes.
When the chicken is done, remove the chicken pieces from the pot. Reserve 2 cups of chicken cooking broth and set aside.
Remove the skin and pick out the meat (a mix of dark and white) to make 2 generous cups. I used tongs to quickly pick out the meat; seems to be more efficient than using other utensils. Plus you don’t need to wait for the chicken to cool to start working on it. Discard the bones and skin.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan 160 degrees C).
Return the remaining chicken cooking broth to a boil. Cook the spaghetti in the chicken cooking broth until al dente (it took me about 12 minutes). Do not overcook.
When the spaghetti is cooked, combine with the chicken, 2 cups of the cheese, the green peppers, red peppers, seasoned salt, cayenne, soup and onions, and sprinkle with the black pepper.
Stir in 1 cup of the reserved chicken cooking broth, adding an additional cup if needed.
Place the mixture in a 9- by 13-inch casserole pan (I used a 14″ oval casserole dish) and top with the remaining 1 to 2 cups cheese.
Bake immediately until bubbly, about 45 minutes. (If the cheese on top starts to get too dark, cover with foil.)