Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Chicken Spaghetti – Because Cows and Pigs Can’t Fly Either

A big bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce is one of my all-time favorite meals, and like most cooks, I make it a little different every time. The veggies change seasonally, and as far as the meat goes, sometimes it’s beef, or pork, or a combination, but for whatever reason, chicken is rarely considered. It’s usually only when I’m using up leftovers that I think to toss it with noodles. So, I almost forget how great this is when you dedicate a whole bird, and a few hours to the effort.

Other than requiring a little time, this recipe is dead simple, with the only major decision being how thick to make your sauce. I like something fairly light, I guess because it’s chicken, but if you do want something thicker, simply change the ratio of sauce to water when you start the recipe. You can also reduce it longer, but you knew that.

Just be sure to undercook your pasta by at least a minute here, since as you saw we’re going to finish it in hot sauce for a couple minutes at the end. This is a critical step, and allows all those flavors to get sucked up by the still hydrating spaghetti. This is also a great make-ahead meal, as you can prep your sauce one day, and then assemble the finished dish at a later date. Either way, I really do hope you give this chicken spaghetti a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for enough Chicken Spaghetti Sauce for between 1 and 1.5 pounds of pasta, depending on how “saucy” you want it:
1 large whole chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), with bag inside cavity removed
1 jar (24-oz) marinara sauce (about 3 cups)
6 cups water or chicken broth
2 anchovy fillets
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
red chili flakes to taste

To finish the dish, for each person:
4 ounces spaghetti, cooked, drained (not rinsed!)
enough chicken spaghetti sauce and to please you
more grated cheese
1 tablespoon cold butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
salt and hot pepper to taste
at least 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese

21 comments:

Megan Jalbert said...

Hi Chef John,

I was wondering what size Stockpot you used for this recipe? I am in college and want to break free from take out and ramen. With that said, I need some new pots and pans because the toaster oven will not do. I really love your video's and the food always looks incredible. I want to make the cider braised pork and was wondering what size Dutch oven you used. This would be incredibly helpful and greatly appreciated.

Sullivan's Papa said...

Hello Chef John,
This recipe looks mighty good!
Not to get too gross so early in this post but do you wash off the chicken first? Hearing about "fecal soup" kind of gives me the willys!

Joanne Rake said...

Will give this recipe a go (like many of your others) - looks great.

Had a good chuckle over your commentary: "one of those people who never reads the instruction manual".

I come from a family that as kids believed the first thing to do when you open the box of a new product is hurl the instruction manual to the far end of the room and begin parts sorting and assembly.

Of course my family method - despite several young minds collaborating on how best to proceed - would hit a wall and on rare occasion we retrieved the manual and corrected an assembly mistake... but it is just so much fun to group-cheer and say: "We did it! It works!"

kinjun ranger said...

Looks great - but is it 1:15 or 65 minutes? Yeah, I know I am just being a smarta$$. :-) But I thought it was funny.

Unknown said...

Looks and sounds great! Thanks chef!!*

Sullivan's Papa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

Why start with so much water, when step #2 is to boil most of it off?

Anita said...

I'm excited to try this for tomorrow's dinner! Thanks Chef John! :)

puttermuch said...

Finally, a great recipe for Chicken Spaghetti. The concept is so simple yet it took decades for someone (at least someone I know) to come up with a recipe that doesn't contain Cream of Something and taste like every other Midwest hotdish.. Thanks Chef !!

The Captain said...

Absolutely 5*s Chef John! Perfect in all respects! Everyone loved this dish and you are right about not 'just dumping pasta in a bowl'. Adding the pasta with the sauce and chicken to warm together really enhanced the flavor. EXCELLENT dish!

NuDrums said...

I just made this with my own spaghetti squash substitute... it's really good! Thanks!

Bob Beattie said...

Nice. looks beautiful.

Thank you!

James Payne said...

Can I leave the red pepper flakes out my inlaws don't like spicy food's

James Payne said...

Also what size pot was you using

James Payne said...

Also what size pot was you using

Bill said...

Blogger James Payne said "Can I leave the red pepper flakes out"?

Of course. As Chef John would say,
'you are the boss,
of your spaghetti sauce.'

Jenny Demetri said...

Hi from London! Getting excited about making this for the first time ever tonight. Chicken, sauce and anchovies in the pot... Can't wait!

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Oliver Krebs said...

Hi John. Ever since I convinced my local award-winning butcher in germany to get me some skirt-steak, he greets me by name. So thanks for that. Since Germany is Bratwurst-Country and the Barbecue-Season is close by - This is my food Wish: A new take on Bratwurst please! Yours, Oliver

Unknown said...

I made this and loved it - it will become a new staple here in the Bonzulac household. However! Chef, I have a quick question: did you mean table salt or kosher salt? I assumed table, but found it was perhaps a little too salty. (Of course, I also reduced it a bit too much, so that may have been the problem.)

Thanks for the recipe!

Jones said...

Made this in the Instant Pot. Used less water and it turned out great. Like really great.