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Chicken Spaghetti: Homemade, made easy

Do you enjoy stirring and slow-cooking that perfect, homemade spaghetti sauce over the stove all day long?  If so, this post isn’t for you.  This incredible, homemade spaghetti cooks in a crock pot, and could not get better or easier if I tried.  Forgot to defrost the chicken?  No problem!  Raw or frozen chicken does not affect the final product.  This spaghetti also freezes amazingly well.  I make a large batch and freeze the leftover portions for another week (usually fills two family-size containers).

2 large cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste (regular-sized can, for less thick sauce, use a small can)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons onion, bell pepper, celery mix (optional)
1 tablespoon minced red onion
2 large (or 3 small) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
16 oz. of your favorite pasta

Turn the crock pot on high.  Pour in 1 can of the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes.  Layer chicken on top.  Place all seasonings on top of chicken.  Cover with remaining tomato sauce, cover, and cook for 8 hours.  Feel free to use your preferred seasonings, add sugar, salt, meats, mushrooms, and anything else you normally add to your sauce. 

After the 8 hours, the chicken will be so tender it will shred as you stir the sauce.  Turn the crock pot to low, stir in tomato paste, and cook for 30 more minutes.  While this is getting finished, cook your pasta and prepare garlic bread (if desired).

The result is a rich, thick, dark sauce that tastes like someone slaved over a stove all day constantly stirring.  Serve over pasta, add cheese (if desired), and serve.

I was a little experimental and decided to use rigatoni tonight instead of farfalle.  This pasta is usually more al dente than others, so if you like your pasta really soft, stick with spaghetti or angel hair pasta.

Quick Garlic Bread

1/2 French bread loaf, baguette, any thick bread will do
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic liquid
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley

Slice bread in half and then squares.  Place all other ingredients in a microwave-safe cup (coffee mugs are perfect for this) and microwave for 20 seconds.  Place bread in foil-lined pan face up, and spoon mixture over bread pieces.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or longer based on desired crispness. 

For those that read my post from yesterday, I did finally get off my rear, got some things done around the house, and worked on school assignments.  Dinner, however, was reheated leftovers.  It was too late to cook this meal properly, and no other ideas really jumped out at me.  The heavy balsamic bruschetta is still staring at me, next to the ground meat for the chili.  I will get to you both, I promise.

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