I've been slowly learning to cook for a boy -- this means my usual dinners of vegetables, some turkey or baked chicken or whatever I have in my refrigerator isn't exactly rocking Christian's world. You don't want Kraft Mac with some sugar snap peas for dinner? Your loss.
Most recently I was trying to fill his belly with yummy food while he buried his head in the books studying for a huge national test he was scheduled to take for school (he is taking the test TODAY from 9am to 6pm -- any and all prayers are greatly appreciated!) -- so I knew The Pioneer Woman was the lady I needed to be working with.
Enter The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti. I wanted a tasty and simple chicken spaghetti recipe that didn't involve velveeta or anything full of questionable yellow filler and this recipe was perfection. As Ree would say, let me introduce "the cast of characters:"
thin spaghetti noodles
3-4 cups sharp cheddar cheese
3 organic chicken breasts (boiled and shredded)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 green bell pepper
1 can of pimentos (drained and diced)
1 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pepper (to taste)
salt (to taste)
**Be sure to put the chicken high enough where your dog can't eat it...since Bailey has been known to eat FOUR RAW hamburger patties off the counter...true story. And don't you love all the wood laminate? Gorge, right? Gotta love that 70's brown kitchen.**
Give the dog a milkbone or any loose sedatives you can find so she will relax and get out from under your feet. Just kidding about the sedatives (but I'm not kidding).
Break the noodles into two-inch pieces and fill three cups. Chop up the bell pepper, onion and pimentos.
Pour yourself a glass of wine and watch the Kardashians while the chicken is boiling (optional).
Boil the chicken and save two cups of the water. Cook the noodles (but don't overcook -- remember they'll be going back in the oven for 30-45 minutes) and mix with the shredded chicken. Add the cream of mushroom soup, vegetables and 1 cup of the water saved from the boiled chicken. Add a little more to your liking - you don't want it soupy. Add the seasonings and two cups of cheese and mix all together.
Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with remainder of cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and lightly brown.
**To those of you who have asked -- the baking dishes I have are Skyros Designs.**
Absolutely delicious. The Pioneer Woman just does it right every time. You can find the simple, easy and hearty recipe with legit directions here.