If you live in the South, you know that chicken spaghetti a very popular dish for everyday family meals and potluck dinners. The spicy Rotel tomatoes with chile peppers are often used, and many people add a can of condensed soup to the casserole. There are a number of ways to make it.
This particular recipe is easy scaled down with less pasta, tomatoes, and chicken, and half of the cheese.
- 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, cut up
- 1 package vermicelli or spaghetti (12 to 16 ounces)
- 2 large green bell peppers, chopped, or use both red and green
- 2 pounds onions, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 cans Rotel tomatoes, diced (approx. 10 oz each)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
Put the chicken pieces in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the chicken to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Put the pot with the chicken broth over high heat and bring it back to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook following the package directions until just tender (al dente); drain, but do not rinse.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and chop.
In a Dutch oven or deep, heavy skillet, sauté the bell peppers, onion, celery, and mushrooms in the butter. Add the Rotel tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes to let the flavors blend. Add the cooked and drained spaghetti, the diced cooked chicken, and the cheddar cheese.
Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and the mixture is bubbly.
Tips and Variations
- Replace one of the cans of Rotel tomatoes with a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (10 3/4 ounces).
- Omit the celery, if desired.
- Use a large store-bought rotisserie chicken for the chicken and commercial chicken broth for cooking liquid for the spaghetti. Or use about 4 to 6 cups of diced leftover chicken or turkey and 2 cups of commercial chicken.
- Add a dash of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
- To bake the dish, transfer the vegetable and tomato mixture to a large baking dish and add the spaghetti, chicken, and half of the cheese. Top with the remaining cheese and bake in a 350 F (180 C/Gas 4) oven for 15 to 20 minutes.