Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti

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 Sauce
4 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
Casserole Mixture
12 to 16-oz. dry spaghetti snapped in half
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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Plateful said...

Spaghetti looks temptingly delicious. Yum!

Life's a shoe said...

oh wow this looks really good, my mouth i sounds pretty easy to make too i think ill try this one out soon!

Diane said...

Apart from the fact I would have to cook my own chicken to start with this sounds very yummy. Have a great week Diane

pam said...

I love these kind of casseroles. So homey and comforting.

Tanna said...

Our family loves chicken spaghetti; I'll have to give this version a try! blessings ~ tanna


Definitely looks easy. Come to think of it, I haven't cooked chicken spaghetti yet. Time to change that. Thanks for sharing!
happy monday,

Priya Suresh said...

I'll happily finish this full plate rite now.

Unknown said...

I saw the title and picture and immediately thought of my mom's chicken tetrazzini...and viola! that's basically what this is! Love the ease of the white sauce... deliciously good!

David said...

Mary, That's a very attractive entree... My only problem is that I just can't stomach bell peppers. I'd have to substitute something else. They sure do add color though... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Ellen B Cookery said...

This recipe is so convenient. Thanks for sharing.

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

Tetrazzini has always been a favorite of mine, chicken or turkey. (I was disheartened to read once that one of my very favorite writers, Laurie Colwin, couldn't stand tetrazzini!) I'm ready for this!

Suzie said...

This sounds very tasty and the simplicity is great. Enjoy your day on the water. Isn't it nice to come home and just pop something in the oven? Love it!

Jennifer Kendall said...

i love the idea of coming home and being able to pop this in the oven! sounds delicious!

Jane said...

I have made a dish like this back when I could have pasta ... so good! Have fun today!

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

I will file this away Mary cause it's way too hot to have the oven on even with the air. Thanks as always for sharing. xxoo Nancy

Veronica Miller said...

I've made chicken spaghetti in a crazy lightened up version that was actually still good somehow (usually lightening stuff up to the point that it was ruins it) and then had PW's version at a friend's house but she had slow-cooked a chicken until it was paste which kinda ruined it. I'm pinning this and hope to try it in all it's glory! Looks so creamy and good.

Big Dude said...

This looks outstanding and I like the simplicity of it.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I like these one dish meals especially on a weeknight.

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