Easy Spicy Southern Chicken Spaghetti

I am from Boston.  I had never heard of chicken spaghetti.  My badass boyfriend, Miles, is from Little Rock and, apparently, grew up on it.  It can be a tricky business to attempt to recreate a dish you have never tasted yourself.  And Miles is a finicky eater & likes his stuff the way he likes it.  I repeatedly asked him to describe chicken spaghetti to me but, not a cook himself, he seemed at a loss.  I asked him to get the recipe from his grandmother – but he neglected to & now she is gone – her chicken spaghetti secrets gone along with her.
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb pasta – cooked
  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 12-16 oz Velveeta (plus extra if you want to add more when you reheat it – see above notes – or if you like a wetter dish use the full 16oz.  Go less for a mac-n-cheese texture – more for an Alfredo kinda thing.)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel (tomatoes & chilies)
  • 1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom or cream of celery)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 TBS sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 cup Panko or other bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used a cheddar & mozzarella mix)
  • S&P to taste
  • Parsley and/or crushed red pepper as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta.

Spray a grill or frying pan with cooking spray & cook the chicken tenders & then cut them up.
Melt the butter in a deep stock pot sprayed with cooking spray, too.  The cooking spray seemed to make the inevitable browned/burned bits of cheese easier to clean off later.  Add the Velveeta, Rotel, soup, milk, hot sauce & cumin & melt it all together over med-high heat.  Add the chicken.  Toss it with the pasta.  I added about 1 TBS of black pepper here.  You add S&P to taste.

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray & put the chicken spaghetti in it.  Top with grated cheese & bread crumbs.

Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling & the bread crumbs brown a bit.



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