home News McClellan: My recipe for chicken spaghetti – Longview News-Journal

McClellan: My recipe for chicken spaghetti – Longview News-Journal

Are you still on the lookout for the gorgeous spring flowers, flowering bushes and trees? This past week’s blah weather has not been a joy to the heart, but I do think it keeps the blossoms clean, fresh, and might be a part of the beauty.

Since Joe and I are recovering from whatever this malady that has knocked so many people for a loop, we have not felt much like cooking or eating. Thankfully, we are now ready for something more than a diet of juices and soups.

The first recipe is one that I have not shared with you in many years. It is a plain and simple chicken spaghetti with no “adult” ingredients, such as mushrooms and black olives. One of my fondest memories of this recipe is making it every summer for the first few years of our beloved Texas Shakespeare Festival (back when the company was about one-third the size it is now). I always made this, a large green salad, homemade French bread and a dessert of some kind. I got great pleasure from seeing the kids enjoying a home-cooked meal.

My Chicken Spaghetti

  • 1 3-pound fryer or 4 large chicken breasts, skin removed

  • 1 quart water plus 2 more cups

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup onion

  • 1 cup bell pepper

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon base mix

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (or more to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  • 10 ounces spaghetti

  • 8 ounces processed cheese (like Velveeta), cut into chunks

In a large stewpot that is at least 5 or 6 quarts, place the chicken and 1 quart of water. Simmer chicken until tender. Remove chicken from broth; let chicken cool and remove from bone (if whole chicken is used). Cut into bite-size pieces.

To the broth, add the chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, chicken bouillon base mix, black pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce and Cajun seasoning. Add the 2 additional cups of water. Simmer, covered for at least 30 minutes. Add chopped chicken and spaghetti while broth is boiling. Cook only until spaghetti is “al dente,” or slightly tender.

Stir and add the cheese. Stir slightly. Add water if needed. Makes 9-10 portions.

For many years, I have been a real fan of slaw. There are hundreds of recipes and varieties of this inexpensive, but nutritious dish. I prefer the vinegar-based kind rather than the creamy, mayonnaise-based kind. The following recipe will keep for up to a week or longer if refrigerated.

German Slaw

  • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded into long strips (or however you like it)

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 3/4 cup (or less) sugar plus 2 teaspoons

  • 1 cup vinegar (I prefer cider, but white distilled is fine)

  • 3/4 cup salad oil

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine cabbage, onion and 3/4 cup sugar. Let stand for 5-10 minutes; room temperature is fine. Combine vinegar, salad oil, salt, celery seed, dry mustard, and 2 teaspoons sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Pour over cabbage and mix well. Place in container with tight lid. Store in refrigerator for 24 hours before serving. Makes 12-15 servings.

Although we in East Texas were not familiar with lentils, our eating habits have broadened because of cooking shows and the internet. Try this easy lentil soup.

Lentil Soup

  • 1 ham hock

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup dried lentils

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook ham hock in water until meat pulls away from bone. Remove bone. Pour lentils into ham stock. Add carrots and onion to lentils. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until lentils are tender. 4-6 servings.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at [email protected] or in the care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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