This recipe is important to me for two reasons:
1) Our favorite chicken farmer has had some recent back trouble so he's no longer a vendor at our farmers' market. Tragic. Not only did we trust his chicken, but he was the most affordable (chicken) farmer at our farmers' market. I recently tried to buy some chicken from a different farmer. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi, I'd like one pound of boneless chicken breast, please.
Mr. Farmer: No problem. (Digs around in his freezer). Well, looks like I only have 1.1 pounds.
Me: Oh, that's no problem.
Farmer: Great. (Does some math). Ok, that'll be $19.25"
Me: I'm sorry, I thought you said nineteen dollars and twenty five cents.
Farmer: Oh yea, I did.
Me: Ummm. Ok, I'm gonna have to pass. Thanks anyway.
I shamelessly walked away with my head held high. Highway robbery, I tell you. Highway freaking robbery. The next week I was able to find one pound of chicken for only $9.00. The $10 difference would have bought me three lattes at Starbucks! Clearly that farmer is crazy.
2) I just got a new job (hooray!) for a pay cut (boo!) so gone are the days where one chicken breast = one meal. Even at the reduced price of $9.00 a pound.
1 + 2 = the following email I sent to my mother and sisters.
"Does anyone have a good chicken chili or chicken casserole recipe? I have a pound of chicken and I want a recipe that will make leftovers so it will go farther than just one meal." Thank goodness for like-minded family, right? My sister quickly responded with this recipe. The hubs and I both enjoyed it the next night. And for the next few days, too. I liked it because it's cheesy but not creamy (think cream of so and so soup -- guh. ross.). The hubs liked it because he had lunch taken care of for the next several days. Win win.
9 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
29 ounces stewed tomatoes, undrained, chopped (You can buy canned, but I prefer boxed as studies have shown BPA is in many canned goods)
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain.
While pasta is cooking, heat skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of cheese. Stir in cooked spaghetti and chicken.
Pour mixture into casserole dish. Top with remaining cup of cheese. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until hot.