This was my original set of directions for this recipe. One day, like four years ago, Ryan said that he would love for me to make chicken spaghetti for dinner that was just like his mom's. So I called her and scribbled down her directions on an old folded piece of paper. This pitiful paper has survived a long time so I figured it would be good for me write it out in a blog post. Also a few people have asked for my recipe and this makes it easier to email. Plus, I honestly love cooking with recipes online now much more than using a cookbook because you can see all the photos. Pinterest is my new Betty Crocker. Also you'll notice that my recipe leaves lots of room for variations and I've listed a few alternatives. I believe in cooking with love so I don't follow recipes exactly.
* Chicken breast (or tenderloins)
* Sour Cream (I use the low fat kind but the regular one would probably taste even better)
* Velveeta (either regular or 2%)
* Can of cream of mushroom soup
* Not pictured: I also use Italian dressing when sauteing the chicken and olive oil when sauteing the onion.
Can you tell that I buy the discount brand? I kind of wish that I'd bought name brand for the sake of the photo, but whatever. It's mostly the same, just don't buy cheap chicken.
Cut your chicken into tiny pieces. Saute in Italian dressing until the chicken is thoroughly cooked but not too dried out, about ten minutes on medium heat. Alternative: I have often just thrown chicken breasts in a pot of water and boiled them for about ten minutes. After they are boiled I shred them in my food processor. Either way works fine, the way I chose today adds a bit of flavor.
Step 1 and 1/2:
Start water boiling for spaghetti. Cook spaghetti while you are doing everything else. I've tried making this recipe with gluten free pasta instead and it was edible but not nearly as good.
Slice the onion. Cutting an onion makes me cry so I use my amazing food processor. Nana's recipe called for 1/2 cup of onion. I usually use a whole white or yellow onion unless I happen to only have half left over from another meal. Either way tastes good. Saute the onion in olive oil for about five minutes over medium heat.
Combine chicken and onion. (If you time everything right you can start the chicken, cut up the onion, saute the onion and then throw it all in the chicken pan). Reduce the heat to medium low so that your chicken doesn't over cook. Cut the Velvetta into cubes and add to pan. Add rotell. Let the cheese melt and mix into the chicken/onion mixture. When the cheese is bubbly add the sour cream and cream of mushroom soup (not pictured because it doesn't look beautiful). My sister in-law, who is a great cook, actually makes this without sour cream and her recipe tastes good. I've tried using half the sour cream and Velveeta and it was okay, but obviously the more cheesy, creamy goodness you add, the more your dinner companions will like you.
Step 3 and 1/2:
By now your spaghetti should be finished. Drain and put in a large baking dish. * Sometimes I add just a little bit (maybe 1/2 cup to 1 cup) of the pasta water back into the recipe. I can't decide if I prefer that or not. Add the chicken mixture and stir well. Cover and put in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight if you have time. If you are making this recipe and didn't plan enough time to let it sit for a while that's okay too. It will turn out fine.
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cook for about 30 minutes or until heated all the way through. As I was posting these photos I realized that my original recipe says to sprinkle with cheese at the end. I should try that next time.... I guess if I haven't remembered that part in a few years it must not make that much of a difference either. That's the good part of cooking with love :)