Chicken Spaghetti from The Homesick Texan's Family Table by Lisa Fain. The best comfort food straight from Texas! The whole family will love it. It's no secret that I love cookbooks of all kinds but there are a few that I could make every single recipe and The Homesick Texan's Family Table is certainly one of those. I had a really hard time deciding which recipe to try first and I settled on the Chicken Spaghetti. If you aren't following Lisa Fain's blog The Homesick Texan, well you should be. It's the best place to find down home cooking, Texas style.
This Chicken Spaghetti has a Texas twist with onions, jalapeños and tomatoes plus it is made with a glorious cheese sauce in place of the standard canned soup. It was one of the best things I've cooked in a long time and I will make it again and again.
Next on my list is the Brisket Tacos, I even have a brisket in the fridge as we speak. A casserole that suits my whole family is a bit of a rare occurrence.
My guys prefer their food to be separated on the plate, not touching, so casseroles are not usually their favorite. This was good enough to fight for the last spoonful. I know every recipe I try is bound to be a new family favorite. The photos are gorgeous and the recipes are accessible for any level of cook.
Some have a few extra steps but the payoff in flavor is worth the effort. I would highly recommend adding The Homesick Texan's Family Table to your cookbook shelf, and you can easily order it from Amazon or pick it up at your favorite bookstore.
Chicken Spaghetti from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table
_Printed with permission from The Homesick Texan's Family Table by Lisa Fain_
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and halved lengthwise
- 4 cloves garlic, left whole
- ½ yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk, plus more as needed
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
Lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain, rinse, and transfer the spa-ghetti to the baking dish. Meanwhile, turn on the broiler and place a rack 6 inches away from the heating element. Place the grape tomatoes and jalapeños on the prepared baking sheet, skin side up, along with the whole garlic cloves and onion. Broil, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, and onion are softened and have begun to blacken. Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, dice the tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, and onion.
Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F. To make the sauce for the spaghetti, in a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour until well combined and slightly browned, about 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens just a bit, 3 to 5 minutes. (You want it to coat the back of your spoon, but not be too thick, like custard. If it gets too thick, you can slowly add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time.) Once the sauce thickens, immediately turn off the heat and slowly stir in half of the cheeses, about ¼ cup at a time, until melted and incorporated into the sauce. Stir in the diced vegetables, along with the cumin, cayenne, cilantro, and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and black pepper to taste. Pour the sauce into the cooked spaghetti and then stir in the shred-ded cooked chicken. Cover the spaghetti with the remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until brown and bubbling. Garnish with cilantro before serving.
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