Have you ever cooked a dish and the first words out of your mouth were, “HOLY CRAP” which you stutter with enthusiasm while stuffing your face with a second bite?
You’re going to file “Texas Chicken Spaghetti” in that category.
It’s the type of food encounter where everyone sits at the dinner table in complete silence because they forgot other humans existed… It’s better than therapy.
It will whisk you away from any problem, heartbreak, or drama. Like a spa day— but less candles and essential oil, more dancing plethora of goodness in your mouth.
Texas Chicken Spaghetti is a classic combination of caramelized mushrooms, fresh onion, sweet yellow bell peppers…and (wait for it) a QUESO SAUCE you will lick from the bowl when no one is looking!
My Mom, Mimi, Nanan, and Aunt Tiffany all make it with gusto! And there is always an element of suspense and excitement around an evening of Chicken Spaghetti in the oven. We trade recipes, discuss pepper choices, and even had a contest once after a week of talking smack over who made the best version… I actually think my stepfather won… but I was 8 so that doesn’t count.
Here is the recipe from my Texas kitchen to yours!
8 oz. package exotic mushrooms, such as chanterelle, shitake, or an exotic blend. Sliced and chopped into medium sized bits
1 yellow bell pepper, small dice
1 poblano, small dice, seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded fully, small dice
1/2 onion, small dice
1 t. salt
3/4 of a lb. of spaghetti pasta (That's 3/4 of a box)
2 T. flour
2 c. Chicken Stock
1 can mild rotel tomatoes and green chiles (or 1 can petite diced tomatoes)
1 rotisserie chicken with the juices/jelly reserved from the bottom of the container
4 oz. Velveeta cheese
1/2 c. cream
4 oz. cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top-
Garnish- Cilantro if desired
Preheat the oven to 400 and set aside a glass casserole dish to bake in.
Remove the chicken from the bone and shred into bite sized pieces. Reserve the juices (or jelly if it's still cold) from the bottom of the chicken container. Those we will add to the sauce later.
Boil a large pot of water for cooking the spaghetti in. Cover the pot so it boils faster.
Cook your spaghetti to al dente, or just a little firmer then usual.
In a skillet or cast iron pan melt the butter on medium high heat and add the mushrooms. I like to cut up the rest of the vegetables while the mushrooms brown and caramelize so they have plenty of time to develop a deep, rich flavor.
Add in the small diced yellow bell pepper, poblano, jalapeno, and onion. Stir to incorporate and add 1 t. salt . Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften and wilt at a medium heat, About 4-6 minutes.
Sprinkle in 2 T flour, and stir into the mixture. Cook 30 sec. Add in 2 c. chicken stock, and 1 can of rotel or petite diced tomatoes if rotel is unavailable in your area. Stir and toss until the mixture begins to resemble a slightly thicker sauce. Add the juice from the rotisserie chicken and 4 oz. of Velveeta. (Cut where the lines are on the package for easy measuring). Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow the Velveeta to melt. This takes 6-8 minutes. Stir in 1/2 c. cream. Simmer a couple more minutes and taste for seasoning.
It should taste like heaven at this point and you should have to restrain yourself from pouring it into a bread bowl and calling it soup night.
In the glass casserole dish place the drained, al dente spaghetti pasta and the shredded chicken, and give it a toss around. Pour the sauce over the top. Give it another toss and sprinkle it with cheese.
Cook at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, just to get it nice and bubbly and allow the cheese topping to melt. Garnish with cilantro if desired.