Pam McNaull's tip: Feel free to make this your own by adding shredded carrots, chopped celery, zucchini or other vegetables to the mix. Chicken Casserole: • 1 cooked chicken or equivalent chicken pieces* • 1 (8-ounce) box spaghetti • 2 tablespoons butter • 1 medium onion, chopped • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped • 1 carrot, chopped or shredded • 1 (4.5-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained • 1 (10 3 / 4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup • 1 (14 1 / 2-ounce) can 50 percent less sodium fat-free chicken broth • 1 (8-ounce) box pasteurized prepared cheese product (Velveeta recommended), or more if preferred Crumb Topping: • 1 / 2 cup cream • 1 / 2 cup dry breadcrumbs • 1 / 4 cup shredded parmesan cheese To make casserole: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Remove chicken from bone; discard skin and bones. Cut meat into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. Cook spaghetti according to package directions breaking the strands in thirds as you put them into the boiling water; when they are al dente, drain. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, green peppers, carrots and mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add cream soup, broth and cheese product. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Add spaghetti and chicken; toss to combine. Place spaghetti mixture in prepared pan. To make topping: Drizzle cream over casserole. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake 30 until top is browned. You can serve by cutting into squares or with a pasta fork as you would spaghetti from a pot. Makes 12 to 15 servings. Per serving: 315 calories, 39 percent calories from fat, 14 grams total fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 81 milligrams cholesterol, 20 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram total fiber, 3 grams total sugars, 19 grams net carbs, 26 grams protein, 527 milligrams sodium. *We cooked chicken by placing pieces in a large Dutch oven, covering the pieces with water and simmering 30 minutes until cooked through. We drained the chicken and set it aside until cool enough to skin, bone and cut into pieces. You can use all white, all dark or a mix of pieces, if you wish. Or you can use a whole chicken. If you wish, you can substitute a rotisserie chicken that you skin, bone and cut into pieces.
Mark Randall / Sun Sentinel
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