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cookin' at work... chicken casserole

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
... that was actually called Confetti Chicken, reminding me of the semi-famous recipe invented some years ago that was the second place (nearly) winner of the Cornbread Cook-off. The Confetti Chicken recipe could easily be confuse with what your mama used to make on the day after the day after Thanksgiving. It occurred when everyone was getting tired of turkey, but it was still a bit too early to put the carcass in the soup pot. With enough left over meat to turn the bird into a 'group dish' and hope to get one more meal out of it before insurrection when the troops refused to consume another mouthful of leftovers.

I've seen recipes that would have called it 'tetrazini', using bits of turkey or chicken, adding misc. veg, along with pasta, using a can of mushroom soup as the sauce, then baked in the oven. I have a recipe from a friend of the family calling that sort of casserole 'Goodbye Turkey', from the era when people would never toss any edibles away. Reusing and recycling food. Continuing to transform smaller and smaller quantities of meat into various forms, hoping to make one more meal out of the original item, disguised as something served on toast, or in a soup pot.

This recipe starts with a rotisserie RTU chicken from the deli, so the most time consuming part of preparation is taking the meat off the bones. I was telling people all day long that the bird will have enough meat to double the amount needed. So you can put half in a zip bag in the freezer, or make chicken tacos, or some other recipe your family likes.

Chicken Confetti Spaghetti

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
8 oz spaghetti pasta
10 oz. cooked, diced chicken (about 2 1/2 cups)
8 oz. trinity mix (diced onions, bell pepper, celery - or your choice of veg.)
1 (18 oz.) can creamy mushroom soup
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Remove chicken from bones, dice into bite-sized pieces (I used kitchen shears).
Break pasta  into 2 in. pieces before adding to boiling water, cook and stir 5 min., until partially cooked. Drain off water.
Combine  in microwave safe dish: chicken, pimentos, vegetables, salt, pepper, soup. Cover and microwave on high 2-3 min.
Stir in pasta, transfer to lightly greased 2 quart baking dish.
Mix bread crumbs and cheese, add butter, mixing well with fingers to blend butter into crumbs. Spread evenly over chicken mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees. Makes 6 servings.

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