my first necessity while cooking – – turning on your jams.
second necessity is to have your recipe out and in the open that way you don’t get it dirty.. (in this case, my pioneer women cookbook)
this song goes out to my friend lindsay morris and all the times we rode around in her white wagon listening to avril during the beginning of our friendship, circa 2002.
here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 small white onion
- 1 small green pepper
- 3 large chicken breasts
- 4oz jar of pimentos
- 2 cans cream of mushroom
- 1 can of chicken broth
- 1 big block of cheddar cheese
- 1 lb whole wheat thin spaghetti
- seasoned salt
- chili powder or cayenne
- salt and pepper
start boiling your water for the chicken breasts and pasta (i add salt because my chemistry teacher told me it makes the water boil quicker and my mom’s cousin told me “flavoring” noodles with salt makes a difference – i don’t know if either of those are true).
begin chopping up all your vegetables – – you want to julianne and then dice the green bell peppers followed by dicing the onion. i only used half of both and kept the rest in the fridge for another recipe TBD.
once the water begins to boil, add your sketti to one pot and chicken to the other.
(note: my chicken is in ziplock baggies, because i individually freeze it for when i want to cook a mini-meal just for me during the week. i buy the fresh chicken in bulk since typically its cheaper that way.)
get a large bowl to mix what i call the goo of the casserole. in this bowl, combine the bell peppers, onion, drained pimentos, 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, sprinkling of seasoned salt, chili powder (or whatever *kick* you want to add), and cheddar cheese.
things should be comin’ along now.. here comes the fun part. mixing it all together. noodles + the goo (i didn’t end up using all the noodles so i just kept them for some yummy chicken rosemary pasta i’ve been making; i’d say i had about a handful and a half of noodles left out of the pound i made).
yum YUM yum YUM yum!
my mom gave me this really great ceramic casserole dish that has become my peach cobbler pan – rest assured that it is BIG. i remember reading in the info on this recipe that pioneer woman’s whole family and all her ranch hands love this dish – ALL OF THEM. apparently that’s a big deal. what i didn’t realize is that it feeds that many people too. so i filled up my cobbler dish + a tupperware container, which i chose to freeze some chicken spaghetti in for a day when i’m craving it again.
now ideally, i would have been smart and made sure the goo was moist enough before i put in the big dish BUT improvising has become an art since working in the frontier kitchen. it’s probably annoying that i don’t measure things out.. so here’s my best explanation. you don’t want the goo to be sitting in a chicken broth swimming pool. you rather want it to be a mud puddle. thick, but not too thick. creamy, but not watery. i think the key may be to listen to how it sounds when you are mixing it up.. slurping is the sound you want. if it’s a little over-wet, that’s ok because cooking it will let some of that juice soak into the noodles.
then the ever yummy CHEESY CRUST. you’ll just use the left over cheese not used in the goo. then time to bake: 350 degrees for about 30-ish minutes. you really just want the edges bubbling and cheese melted.
i also had some pre-made parker rolls in the freezer that next time i’ll be more creative with, but i decided to melt some butter on the top of them and sprinkle some poppyseeds on top.
SPECIAL THANKS TO JESSIE + TIM for helping me eat dinner this night.
jessie’s thoughts: I think it was even better reheated the second time.* I’m so happy that the recipe made so much– I’m gonna want more. Perfect comfort food for the exhausted soul. I love onions. I love peppers. I love peppers and onions with chicken, cheese, and spaghetti.
*(i totally agree with her. 100%)
tim’s thoughts: BURP (tasted like chicken spaghetti). I shall be dining with Emma Brooks again soon.