From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This casserole is the lazy cooks answer to Chicken Tetrazzini. As you glance through the recipe, you'll see just how easy this is to make. A deli rotisserie chicken is the main source of protein in this entree, but additional amounts of it come from the dairy products that are used to make a quick and fail-proof version of bechamel. The bechamel, or white sauce, is quickly made with an instant or quick-blending flour and it is used to replace the condensed soups that are used in most versions of this recipe. This dish can be drier than I like, so to prevent that, I add a can of low-sodiun broth to the final mix of ingredients. It works well. This casserole is not at all fancy but it is delicious and can be made hours in advance of serving. It can also be frozen. We'll be on the water for the most of the day today and it's really nice to know that all that's left to do for dinner is to pop this in the oven. I'll serve it with a huge platter of tomatoes and a bowl of tossed greens. If I'm feeling energetic I might even whip up a loaf of garlic bread. If you've never had chicken spaghetti, I hope you'll give it a try. It's a family friendly casserole and, if you get the seasonings right, it is delicious. Here's the recipe I use.
Chicken Spaghetti...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
One-Step White Sauce4 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups cold milk
1/4 cup quick-mixing flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried tarragon or thyme leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 to 4 cups cubed cooked chicken from a deli rotisserie chicken
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided use
1 (14.5-oz.) can reduced sodium chicken broth
1) Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Lightly spray a large heat-proof casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Bring 4 to 6-quarts of water to a rolling boil.
2) To make white sauce: Melt butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and saute until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Add milk and whisk in flour, stirring until smooth. Stir in salt and black and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Boil and stir for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, tarragon and Parmesan cheese. Adjust seasoning to taste.
2) To make casserole mixture: Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add white sauce and 2 cups of cheddar cheese, tossing to combine. Finally, add chicken and canned broth. Stir well to combine. Turn contents into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle top with reserved cheddar cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly. Yield: 8 servings.
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