Friday, January 13, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Update

Back in March, I posted one of my husband's all-time favorite recipes: Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.  It's definitely not one of the healthiest recipes around.  In fact, it's probably one of the most unhealthy recipes on the blog (other than desserts, of course).  Regardless, I try to make it from time to time since the hubs likes it so much.

At first glance, it may not look like a very affordable meal, either, since it contains two cans of soup.  However, as I wrote a year ago, the holidays are a great time to stock up on Campbell's cream soups.  Therefore, throughout November and December, I bought a reasonable amount of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups.  I also bought the chicken on sale (79 cents/lb) and we've gotten several meals out of that chicken!

The day I had planned on making this casserole was shopping day, which meant the first half of the day was consumed with shopping.  I usually like to plan something easy on my shopping days, but it just worked out best in our schedule to have it that day, so shopping day it was.  Then it hit me.  Why don't I cook the chicken in the slow cooker?  So before I left for the grocery store, I threw the chicken into the slow cooker and covered most of it with water.  I put it on high for 3.5 - 4.5 hours, or until it was done.  I removed the chicken from the slow cooker, took out the 2 cups of broth I needed, then used the rest to cook the noodles, according to the recipe.  However, since my slow cooker is not as big in diameter as my stock pot, requiring less water to cover the chicken, I didn't have quite enough broth to boil the noodles.  Not a problem!  I simply added some more water to the pan in which I was cooking the noodles, then added a bit of chicken bouillon.  Voila!  And to make it even easier on myself, I chopped all the veggies and broke the noodles the night before.  Throwing dinner together that night was very quick and easy!  So next time you plan on making this, instead of boiling your chicken on the stove, go ahead and throw it in the slow cooker, then just walk away!

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