Easy Spicy Southern Chicken Spaghetti

Easy Spicy Southern Chicken Spaghetti
I am from Boston. I had never heard of chicken spaghetti. My badass boyfriend, Miles, is from Little Rock and, apparently, grew up on it. It can be a tricky business to attempt to recreate a dish you have never tasted yourself. And Miles is a finicky eater & likes his stuff the way he likes it. I repeatedly asked him to describe chicken spaghetti to me but, not a cook himself, he seemed at a loss. I asked him to get the recipe from his grandmother – but he neglected to & now she is gone – her chicken spaghetti secrets gone along with her.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb pasta – cooked
  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 12-16 oz Velveeta (plus extra if you want to add more when you reheat it – see above notes – or if you like a wetter dish use the full 16oz. Go less for a mac-n-cheese texture – more for an Alfredo kinda thing.)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel (tomatoes & chilies)
  • 1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom or cream of celery)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 TBS sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 cup Panko or other bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used a cheddar & mozzarella mix)
  • S&P to taste
  • Parsley and/or crushed red pepper as garnish
DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook & drain the pasta.
  2. Spray a grill or frying pan with cooking spray & cook the chicken tenders & then cut them up.
  3. Melt the butter in a deep stock pot sprayed with cooking spray, too. The cooking spray seemed to make the inevitable browned/burned bits of cheese easier to clean off later. Add the Velveeta, Rotel, soup, milk, hot sauce & cumin & melt it all together over med-high heat. Add the chicken. Toss it with the pasta. I added about 1 TBS of black pepper here. You add S&P to taste.
  4. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray & put the chicken spaghetti in it. Top with grated cheese & bread crumbs.
  5. Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling & the bread crumbs brown a bit.

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