Picture this: Paris, 2003 (yes, I'm going all Sophia from the Golden Girls on you! Hah, that ages me like nothing else!). A young woman is enjoying her first sights and smells of this amazing city. She has lived a semi-sheltered life for the most part, especially in terms of food, usually opting for the familiar and safe. Along comes this group of local Parisians who take her out to a cute little restaurant near the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera). They ask her if she would like to start off with some fois gras. Now this was something she'd only heard about on the Food Network, so the first turning point comes when she says "sure, why not?". For someone who's never had it, whose friends and family back home have never even heard of it, the idea of eating goose liver is not the most appetizing. But that's the second turning point, because the minute she takes that first bite, all kinds of bells start ringing! It's as if a new part of her brain woke up that she never even knew existed! All sorts of preconceived notions, about everything, were broken down.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole (inspired by the one at Pioneer Woman Cooks)
2 chicken thighs with skin
1 lb spaghetti
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup (condensed)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green capsicum
1 4oz jar of chopped pimentos, drained
1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt n Pepper to taste
1. Put the chicken thighs in a pot, cover with water, add a bay leaf, salt, some peppercorns and a pinch of thyme. Boil the whole thing till the chicken is cooked completely. Once cooled, reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid (strained), then remove the chicken, discard the skin and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
2. To the chicken pieces, add the chopped onion, chopped green pepper, diced pimentos, chopped jalapenos.
3. Break the dry spaghetti into 2 inch pieces before boiling them.
4. When spaghetti is cooked, take it out in a large bowl. To this add 2 cups of the grated cheddar, the two cans of mushroom soup, the chicken broth, the seasoned salt, the regular salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, and the chicken mixture. Mix everything thoroughly and place it in a large casserole dish.
5. Top with remained 1 cup of cheddar.
6. You can refrigerate this for upto 2 days, or bake it immediately. Place it in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes until bubbly. Then turn on the broiler for an additional 5-8 minutes, till the top gets slightly browned in places.
7. Remove from the oven and let it cool down for about 10-15 mins before you jump into this ooey-gooey piece of pasta heaven!I like to add some ketchup or hot sauce to this - really hits the spot for me! DH can't get enough of it either. Bet you can't have just one helping! This is going to be my VERY first entry to Presto Pasta Nights - an event that I love, because it brings together like-minded pasta lovahs ... yayyy carbs! This time it's being hosted by your friendly Food Hunter based in beautiful Phoenix, AZ.