Two weeks ago my mother-in-law was rushed to the emergency room with chest pains. Turns out it was a gallbladder attack and they removed it. She spend several days in the hospital. When she came home she told me about an event she was planning for her church. She and my father-in-law are chairmen for an older singles group that meets once every few months. This month they had decided to make Chicken Spaghetti.
I am a big fan of The Pioneer Woman who first taught me about Chicken Spaghetti. I have made it a few times and everyone loves it. I had passed the recipe along to my MIL and when she told me about her church event, I volunteered to help her.
Then she tells me it is for 60 people!
I have never cooked for that many people at once. It was a little intimidating. But, I made a plan. Broke it down and knocked out three double batches in less than 2 hours!
So, for my dear friends who have never had this before...behold The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti recipe:
1 cut-up chicken
1 lb thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch, pieces
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) cream of mushroom soup
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced green bell peppers
1 jar (4 oz) diced pimientos, drained
1 tsp seasoned salt (such as Lowery's)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Add the chicken to a stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 25 minutes.
2. Remove the chicken from the water using tongs or a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate to cool.
3. Remove 2 cups of broth from the pot and set aside. Bring the remaining broth back to boil and add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Drain it and set it aside.
4. With two forks (or your fingers) remove the chicken from the bone. Shred or cut it into bite-size chunks.
5. Place the cooked spaghetti in a large bowl. Add the cream of mushroom soup and 2 cups of the shredded Cheddar. Then add the onion, green pepper, and pimiento. Add the seasoned salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Take it easy on the cayenne if you can't handle the heat. But if you can, it sure adds some interest to the final dish.
6. Add the chicken and broth. Stir together well, then taste to check the seasonings.
7. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until bubbly.
This recipe feeds a large crowd. If you are making it for a family of four, you will have leftovers.