creamy chicken spaghetti casserole

Today I was really busy. I had a ton of work to complete and numerous errands to run.

In my mind, I planned to make a baked pasta casserole, but by the time I got home, it was already 4.30pm. Thankfully, because this recipe, though long as I actually had to poach a chicken, was really easy. In fact, I am really pleased with the poached chicken. It was tender and moist and I am definitely going to be cooking this way a lot more from now. 

Normally, I would cheat by buying a roasted chicken from CS or another supermarket. The thing is though, to make the same portions as I did today, I would have had to buy an extra large chicken which would cost me around $12.50. In addition, roasted chicken can become a bit dry (especially the chicken breasts). My chicken from the local supermarket cost about $7 and by poaching it, it remained moist throughout. And I have the added bonus of a chicken stock which I can use to cook other dishes!

Having said that, when I am really busy, I would still buy a roast chook from the supermarket. At the end of the day, partially home-cooked is still better than getting a take-away, as far as I am concerned!!

So, today I am trying out a recipe by Ree from The Pioneer Woman. I made adjustments to parts of the recipe to suit my taste, but the basics remained the same.

In a big pot, place a chicken that had been cleaned. Add the halved onion (no need to remove the skin) as well as about 7 cloves of smashed garlic (also no need to remove the skin) and a sprig or two of rosemary. Simmer this for about 40 minutes.

At the end of 40 minutes, you should have an aromatic broth and a chicken that is completely cooked through. Discard the onion, garlic and rosemary and place the chicken in a bowl to cool. Once the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. Set this aside.

In a large skillet, add some butter and olive oil. Saute the onions until they became soft and slightly translucent. Add the minced garlic, stir for about 30 seconds then add the mushrooms.

Once the mushrooms have softened a little, add the white wine (or water/ stock, if you do not want to add wine) and continue cooking the mushrooms until almost all the water has evaporated. Set this aside.

Bring the broth back to boil and cook the broken spaghetti for 10 minutes (3 minutes less than the time stated on the pack). Once cooked, drain the spaghetti (reserve the stock) and set it aside.

Now for the fun part. In a large skillet, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. With a hand whisk, whisk the flour to allow the flour to cook through.

Add the stock, then the milk, whisking all the while.

Add the wine, and salt and pepper.

Leave the sauce to cook and thicken. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Stir continuously until all the cheese have melted.

Add the mushroom and chicken to the sauce.

Add the spaghetti. Mix well.

Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Bake at 170°C for about 30 minutes, or until the top has turned a delicious shade of golden brown.

Scatter some chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley on the spaghetti casserole. You can serve it with a salad or warm crusty chunks of garlic bread. Or just eat it as it is. 

And secretly wish you didn’t have to share the rest of the casserole.

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Serves 8
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For the broth and shredded chicken
  1. 1 whole chicken
  2. 1 onion
  3. 6-7 cloves garlic
  4. 1-2 sprigs rosemary
For the sauce
  1. 110g butter
  2. 1/2 onion, diced
  3. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  4. 400g button mushrooms, sliced
  5. 1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine - I used Chardonnay
  6. Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 1/4 cup plain flour
  8. 2 cups (480ml) chicken broth (reserved From Chicken Or Canned)
  9. 1-1/2 cup (240ml - 280ml) whole milk
  10. 1/4 cup (60ml) additional dry white wine
  11. 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  12. 1 cup whole black olives, chopped - I omitted this
  13. 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
  14. 1/2 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper
  15. Extra cheese, for sprinkling
  16. 500g Spaghetti
For the broth and shredded chicken
  1. In a big pot, place a chicken that had been cleaned. Add the halved onion (no need to remove the skin) as well as about 7 cloves of smashed garlic (also no need to remove the skin) and a sprig or two of rosemary. Simmer this for about 40 minutes.
  2. At the end of 40 minutes, you should have an aromatic broth and a chicken that is completely cooked through. Discard the onion, garlic and rosemary and place the chicken in a bowl to cool. Once the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. Set this aside.
For the sauce
  1. In a large skillet, add some butter and olive oil. Saute the onions until they became soft and slightly translucent. Add the minced garlic, stir for about 30 seconds then add the mushrooms.
  2. Once the mushrooms have softened a little, add the white wine (or water/ stock, if you do not want to add wine) and continue cooking the mushrooms until almost all the water has evaporated. Set this aside.
  3. Bring the broth back to boil and cook the broken spaghetti for 10 minutes (3 minutes less than the time stated on the pack). Once cooked, drain the spaghetti (reserve the stock) and set it aside.
  4. Now for the fun part. In a large skillet, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. With a hand whisk, whisk the flour to allow the flour to cook through.
  5. Add the stock, then the milk, whisking all the while.
  6. Add the wine, and salt and pepper.
  7. Leave the sauce to cook and thicken. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Stir continuously until all the cheese have melted.
  8. Add the mushroom and chicken to the sauce.
  9. Add the spaghetti. Mix well.
  10. Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.
  11. Bake at 170°C for about 30 minutes, or until the top has turned a delicious shade of golden brown.
  12. Scatter some chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley on the spaghetti casserole. You can serve it with a salad or warm crusty chunks of garlic bread. Or just eat it as it is.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe http://thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com/

I am submitting this recipe for Cook like a Star hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy KidsYen from Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake

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