Chicken Tetrazzini

1¼ to 1½ lb. chicken 2 breasts or ½ lb. spaghetti or other pasta
   4 thighs, skinned and boned 1 26-oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 medium onions, chopped 1 10½-oz. can chicken with rice soup
6 celery stalks, chopped 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped 1 4-oz. jar pimentos, diced
6-7 garlic cloves, minced Italian seasoning
3 Tblsps. olive oil pepper
½ to ¾ lb. cheddar cheese, shredded

Trim fat off of chicken.  (Turkey may be used instead.)  Chop or tear chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Sauté chicken, chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, and minced garlic in olive oil in a large frying pan or wok.  Turn frequently, until no red color is observed in the chicken.

Boil spaghetti/pasta 15 minutes (or egg noodles 3 minutes), and then pour into a colander to drain.  Rinsing with cold water can help prevent the spaghetti/pasta from sticking to itself.  If desired, slice up spaghetti into short, 2"-3" pieces while still in the colander.

To sautéed ingredients, add soups, mushrooms, pimentos, and Italian seasoning and pepper to taste.  (Salt should not need to be added, as the soups should provide enough salt content.)  Stir well and keep on a low-heat setting.

After a few minutes, pour the spaghetti/pasta into the sautéed ingredients and creamed soup mixture, and mix everything together well.  Then pour the mixture into a 13½"×9½"×2" baking pan (preferrably glass) and press down evenly.  Do not add the shredded cheese yet.  If the pan is very full, it is a good idea to place it on a cookie sheet in the oven, in case the contents drips over the edge.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45-50 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, and sprinkle the top uniformly with the shredded cheddar cheese.  Slide the pan back in the oven, and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese browns.  (If browning has not yet occurred after the allotted time, the oven can be turned to the broil setting for about 5 minutes; however, extreme caution must be taken not to burn the cheese.)  This casserole provides 8 to 10 servings.  Make two at once, and place one in the freezer!

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