Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Aunt Liz's Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

     If you're having a bad day at the office, you need to run home and make yourself Aunt Liz's Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.  It is like a big hug from your favorite aunt baked into a church supper casserole.  Nothing fancy, just one of those old fashioned, creamy, noodly hot dishes that fills you up and soothes your soul.  It's a terrific dutch oven dinner because you don't have to cook the spaghetti beforehand.  Chop the onions and celery into a finer dice, that way they'll soften and cook all the way through. 
     In my 10 inch dutch oven, the casserole cooked for 40 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and about 20-22 briquettes spaced evenly on the lid.  Give it a stir halfway and don't add the cheese until you know the pasta has cooked completely.  I used thin spaghetti but regular is fine.  Of course you can jazz it up with your favorite herbs or a can of water chestnuts but there's something rather nostalgic and comforting about a June Cleaver type of dinner.  Try a bowl of this baked spaghetti in the woods by the light of your Coleman lantern and you'll feel like you're feasting on a gourmet meal.

Aunt Liz's Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
2 cups (about 7 oz) spaghetti, uncooked, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup jarred, roasted red pepper, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 10 3/4 oz cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Combine chicken, celery, onion, 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, red pepper and spaghetti in large bowl.
     Whisk mushroom soup, chicken broth, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well combined.
     Add soup mixture to chicken mixture; toss until well combined.
     Spoon into prepared dutch oven, making sure all noodles are submerged in liquid.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring halfway.
     Sprinkle with remaining Cheddar, continue to cook until cheese has melted and noodles are tender.
     Makes 4-6 servings.

Combine all ingredients and spoon into prepared dutch oven

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring halfway

When noodles are tender sprinkle with cheese and
continue baking until cheese has melted

Thank you Aunt Liz, it's a keeper

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