Comfort food

If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s, you probably had a lot of chicken spaghetti.  Everyone has their favorite recipe – cheddar cheese or velveeta, stovetop or oven, spicy or not…so many varieties.  This week, I made meals for a couple of families who have had hospital stays.  I decided to make a huge batch of this traditional, comfort-type food; and it was more than enough to feed three families, including my own.

The basic recipe that I use and have adjusted over the years is another favorite from Tammie Ward.  My mom had a similar recipe, I believe, and even cooked enough one time for my brother and sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner.  (Happy Anniversary, James and Kay!)

I started by boiling a whole chicken.  Of course, you can use just chicken breasts or pieces; but if I have a whole chicken, I like to use it because the broth seems richer.  It’s a messy process but not hard.  After the chicken is cooled, debone and shred the meat.

I chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic (I used the jar type this time.), and carrots.  In a large skillet, I melted butter with olive oil.  I cooked the vegetables until they were tender.

While the veggies cooked and after the chicken boiled, I brought the broth the chicken was cooked in to a boil.  I cooked the spaghetti in the broth until it was tender.

After the spaghetti was cooked, I drained most of the liquid.  Then I stirred in canned diced tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup, the cooked vegetables, the shredded chicken, and Velveeta cheese.

After the cheese melted, I put the mixture in aluminum pans for transporting.  The spaghetti can be eaten right away or later when warmed in the oven.  Again, this was a huge amount, probably triple the original recipe.

For easy sides, try a salad or green beans and garlic bread.

For dessert, I made a chocolate chip pecan pie and death by chocolate bundlet cakes.  (Recipes below).

Chocolate Chip Pie

1 unbaked pie shell, 1 stick butter (melted and cooled), 1 cup sugar, 1 cup pecans, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs (beaten)

Mix dry ingredients.  Mix in other ingredients.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes. Turn oven off, and let pie set in oven for another 15 minutes.

Death by Chocolate

1 chocolate cake mix, 1 small box instant chocolate pudding, 1 cup sour cream, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup water, 12 oz. pkg chocolate chips

Mix sour cream, eggs, oil and water.  Add cake mix and pudding.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour in greased bundt pan.  Bank 45 minutes @ 350*.  (Bundlets took less time – probably about 25 minutes).  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.




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