Cooking for Cassie Marathon!

14 03 2011

Clockwise starting with Crock Pot: Tahitian Chicken, Company Potatoes, Barbeque Meatballs, Chicken Enchiladas Suisas, Meatloaf, Chicken Spaghetti, Shepherd's Pie, Swedish Meatballs & (not shown) Chicken Salad

Our daughter-in-law, Cassie has had some pretty rough health issues for the last 5 or 6 weeks, so our daughter, Jenny & I thought we could help Josh & Cassie out by filling their freezer with some delicious comfort foods.  We would love to share some of these recipes with you…maybe you can use a couple of them to bless someone that is going through a difficult time.  Love to have you follow along on this journey with us…and we would love to hear back from YOU with ideas of great freezer meals, or a way that you have been blessed by someone, or by how you were able to help someone with a little home cooking!

We asked Cassie to make a list of their favorite comfort foods that would also do well frozen.  All of the recipes were found in either “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” or “Adrian’s Between Friends” Cookbooks.  Here is the list we worked from: Chicken Enchiladas Suisas, Barbeque Meatballs, Meatloaf, Tahitian Chicken, Swedish Meatballs, Company Potatoes, Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti, Shepherds Pie & Chicken Salad for sandwiches.

Cassie & Josh are staying with wonderful friends, Clint & Jenny and their adorable young sons, Jack (1 1/2) and Charlie (6 months) while Cassie recovers.  We were thankful that Cassie felt good enough to join in much of the prep work…and we absolutely had a blast!  Our plan is to share all of the recipes in the next week or so.  Enjoy!  Vicki & Jenny

Ingredients for Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti

I LOVE Ree Drummond’s “Pioneer Woman Cooks” Cookbook…the photography is incredible…the recipes are delicious and I just really enjoy her style of writing.  Be sure to check out her blog at The Pioneer…I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as we do!

It's easy to cook your own chicken!

Start by actually cooking your own chicken.  It is so easy,  makes the most delicious broth, and the chicken is tender and juicy.  Save this broth! We’re going to use some of it to add to our casserole, and use the rest to boil our spaghetti in for even more flavor.

Start with an exceptional recipe!

I love pictures when preparing a recipe and the Pioneer Woman Cooks has tons of them!  But just because a cookbook has photos, doesn’t necessarily mean that the recipe is that great.  Cooking is definatly part art and part science…with a lot of love mixed in.

Choose very fresh ingredients for exceptional results.

After cooking and de-boning the chicken, cook the spaghetti in the broth and set aside.  Follow the recipe to put it all together (very easy), and pour the entire mixture into a 9 x 13 greased casserole.

The finished casserole.

I can tell you that this recipe made plenty!  The casserole was heaped when we poured it into the pan, but after several of us tasted it (and I’m pretty sure several took more than one bite) 🙂 it was ready to go into the freezer.

Ready for the Freezer!

“The Pioneer Woman Cooks” Chicken Spaghetti

1 cut up fryer chicken
1 pound thin spaghetti
4 oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
1 small onion
1/4 c. finely dice green bell pepper
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Add the chicken to a stock pot. Cove with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 25 minutes (longer if your chicken is not cut up). Remove the chicken from the water using tongs or a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate to cool.  Remove two cups of broth from the pot and set aside. Bring the remaining broth back to a boil and add the spaghetti. Cook it al dente.  Drain the spaghetti, discarding the cooking liquid. Set aside.

With two forks (or your fingers) remove the chicken from the bones. Shred or cut the meat into bite-size chunks. Drain the pimentos. Dice the onion and green pepper. Place the cooked spaghetti into a large bowl. Add the cream of mushroom soup and the two reserved cups of chicken broth. Add two cups of the shredded cheddar cheese. Then add the onion, green pepper and pimento. Add the seasoned salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper (optional). Finally add the diced chicken and broth.  Stir together well, then taste to check the seasonings. Pour the mixture into a large baking pan and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until bubbly.

Now all you need is some fresh bread, a great salad,  crisp, cool evening and a bunch of hungry people!  Enjoy!