Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Chicken Spaghetti and a New Cookbook (Trying to Stay Calm During the State of the Union...)

Tonight we had a craving for something old-fashioned, and what best to fix but my mother’s recipe for Chicken Spaghetti. It was given to her by a friend named Penn Gilbreath, way back in the early 1940s, I believe. It’s something we grew up eating often, since it’s inexpensive, quick, and tasty. Of course, Mom fixed it using a whole cut-up chicken, which was cooked and then deboned, and I use two chicken breasts that can be cut up and cooked quickly.

Chicken Spaghetti

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2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 3-4 pieces each
1/2 c chopped bell pepper
1/4 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. thin or regular spaghetti ( I use Barilla Plus or Trader Joe's Low Carb)
1 10 3/4-oz. can undiluted tomato soup
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 c milk
1 4-oz. jar diced pimento, drained
salt and pepper

Put chicken, bell pepper, onion and garlic in a large pot with 3 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, and continue to cook, covered, about 10 minutes, or until chicken is done. Remove chicken to a cutting board. Add 2-3 quarts of water to pot (enough to boil pasta) and bring back to a boil. (The bell peppers and onions are still in the pot) Add pasta, and cook until tender. Drain. Add back to pot along with remaining ingredients. Heat over low heat, approximately 10 minutes, watching pot to make sure the bottom doesn’t scorch. Serves 4.

I’d like to tell you about the wonderful gift I received yesterday from Ingrid, my office manager. She came in to work and handed me a copy of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, opened to an article titled “Simply Simon.,”by Emily Green. “Here, read this. It’s interesting,” was all she said. Since it was about a cook and a cookbook, I read it, learning that the book, Roast Chicken and Other Stories had knocked Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from the Amazon U. K. No. 1 slot only 2 weeks after the Harry Potter book was released.

I read on, enjoying the writer’s description of Simon Hopkinson and the various times she had met him and worked with him. Towards the end of the article, she says, “Waitrose Food Illustrated, gave the 2005 Award for ‘The Most Useful Cookery Book of All Time’ to Roast Chicken.” I read that part aloud, and stated, “Gee, I always thought Joy of Cooking was the most useful cookery book. I guess I have to go get one.”

Ingrid reached into her bag, and pulled out a small brown package from Amazon.com, and said, “No need. I got you one.” I just about hugged her to death! She couldn’t find one on the U.S. Amazon.com site, so she went to the UK site and paid 12 pounds for it! Isn’t she wonderful? I look forward to cooking a few things the Simon Hopkinson way.

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BNA said...

How sweet! Be sure to keep us posted on what you think of the book.

Sigrid said...

mmm.. sorry Cindy, but I'm affraid you cooked this pasta a bit too long... :-(


Cyndi said...

Don't know what you mean there--I didn't even give a time--just "cook until tender", which really should be "al dente." The 10 minutes mentioned later in the recipe is for the reheating.