One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #7 Sandi’s Memaw’s Chicken Spaghetti

Sandi’s Memaw’s Chicken Spaghetti

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

2 C chicken stock

1 T chopped parsley

1 whole onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch each, basil and thyme

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and diced

1 lb mushrooms rinsed and sliced

2 T flour

1 C cream

1/4 lb grated cheese, Monterrey Jack and Parmesan

1 lb Spaghetti

2 T Butter

  1. In a medium stock pot simmer tomatoes and chicken stock until reduced by half.
  2. Add parsley, onion, garlic, basil, thyme, Worcestershire, and chicken.
  3. In a separate pan saute the mushrooms in butter.  Stir in flour, cream, and cheese.  Add to chicken/tomato mixture.
  4. Cook spaghetti until al dente.  Drain and combine with the sauce.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

 

When you want a tasty baked pasta dish that’s not exactly Italian try this recipe.  The origin of this recipe is as interesting as the dish itself.   Sandi is one of my wife’s childhood friends.  Sandi called her grandmother “Memaw”.  Hence, this is Sandi’s grandmother’s recipe.  Over the years this pasta supper was made with minor variations.  I’ve always substituted half and half for the cream.  But if your intention is for a creamier dish, go for the cream.  Different pasta shapes work well too.  Don’t just limit yourself to spaghetti.  Be generous with the cheese quantity also.

 

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Scalloped Potatoes

4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
Half cup diced sweet onion
Half stick butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Dash salt and pepper
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
4 slices American cheese

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onions until translucent.
  2. Add flour to create a roux.  Add milk slowly, stirring continuously.  Add salt, pepper, one cup of the cheddar cheese and all of the American cheese.  Simmer briefly until all of the cheeses have melted and you have a smooth sauce.  Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes.  Alternate layers of potatoes and sauce, ending with a layer of sauce on top.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. After 45 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and bake uncovered for another 45 minutes.
  7. During the last five minutes, sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese on top of the casserole.
  8. Remove from oven and let set for at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

 

Simple is good and super simple is better.  Recipes for Scalloped Potatoes are all pretty much the same.  Potatoes, butter, cheese, milk, bake.  But when you get compliments on the potatoes, you put the recipe on the blog to hopefully answer the question:

“So what do you do differently?”

After thinking about the question and  looking a few other recipes, the answer is not much.  (but I think it’s the half stick of butter).

TIPS – slice the potatoes as thin as possible, 1/4 inch is good.  Sauce up every layer of potatoes.  Use a high quality extra sharp cheddar cheese.  Butter, not margarine.

One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #6 Pasta with Chicken, Vegetables, Oiive Oil and Garlic

Pasta with Chicken, Vegetables, Olive Oil and Garlic

Parmesan cheese (lots)
3 medium carrots
2 small zucchini

2 small yellow squash
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

4 oz mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil for sauteing, 3-4 tablespoons for dressing the pasta
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb cooked, drained bow tie pasta

One Rotisserie Chicken, carved off the bone, cut into pieces that match your pasta shape.

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on the package for al dente.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut carrots and zucchini on the diagonal into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Heat 1 T olive oil (preferably extra virgin) in a frying pan.  Saute the carrots and squashes for several minutes on each side until golden brown and caramelized.
  4. Add the onion, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic.  Saute for several minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add more olive oil if necessary to prevent sticking.
  5. Toss chicken into the pan and stir until the chicken is warmed through.
  6. Add pasta to the vegetable chicken mixture and stir to mix well.  Add remaining olive oil.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh basil and grated Parmesan.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top each serving with more shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

 

It was hard figuring out how this dish started.  When the kids were little time was always limited, especially around dinner time when they needed to eat RIGHT NOW.  One night there was leftover spaghetti in the fridge.  It got tossed with some sautéed onion and garlic, topped with cheese and served.  Not only did the pasta get eaten, but the kids requested the dish again.  We had discovered a fast meal without resorting to fast food.

Over the years this simple meal evolved.  More vegetables got added.  The browning of the squashes came later, spurred by a memory of a dish eaten in some Italian restaurant a long time ago.  Chicken was added to make the dish more substantial and to take advantage of the cooked birds that every market started to prepare and sell.

TIPS – use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.  Add crushed red pepper in Step 4 if you want some zing.  You’ll need a nice loaf of bread and a salad to complete the meal.  Either red or white wine will work but if you choose red, get a lighter bodied Italian red like Bardolino.