Chicken and Spaghetti with Pine Nuts - Easy

Noticed yet another recipe for pasta and chicken on the internet last spring. Looked promising, so I bookmarked it to use in the very near future.

"Near future" is so relative.  Fast forward about 6 months.  I had a bag o'defrosted shredded soup chicken, and finally remembered that pasta and chicken recipe.  Except the original recipe starts out with skin-on chicken parts.  The skin-on chicken parts get massaged with herbs and spices, then lovingly roasted.  Temporarily separated from its drippings, the chicken gets skinned and shredded, retaining its yummy goodness from the previously mentioned herbs and spices as it gets newly acquainted with spaghetti before getting reacquainting with its drippings.

Remember that bag o'shredded chicken, barely familiar with semi-recognizable soup spices?  Not quite the same thing.  So to give it a flavor boost, I mixed the shreds with a small amount of minced rosemary and black pepper, along with equal amounts of smoked chipotle and hot red paprikas.   If you are the type who thinks matzoh is flavorful, leave out the hot red paprika; the tiny tingle from the that quantity will sent you into shock.

To create a drippings alternative, I added some chicken bullion along with zesty Italian dressing. If you don't feel like opening a can of broth just to access a quarter cup, substitute a 1/4 cup water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bullion.  Either way, since either option is high in sodium, no need to add more salt to the dish.

The original calls for raisins, but theHubby and youngerSon would rather starve than eat raisins in any chicken dish.  No one missed them, not even me, and I like raisins in almost anything.

Speaking of youngerSon, as I was making dinner, he was heading out the door to meet with friends for dinner, but the aroma from my dinner was calling his name, so when he came home after meeting with friends for dinner he asked for a plateful.  Then asked for seconds.  Remember, this is after he met with friends for dinner.

So, I humbly say, this recipe is a keeper.

Chicken and Spaghetti with Pine Nuts
Loosely based on a recipe from
Serves 6

1 pound thin or regular spaghetti, broken in half
3-4 cups shredded chicken (from 1 cooked chicken)
1/4 cup chicken broth
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 Tbl. minced fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. smoked chipotle paprika
1/3 tsp. hot red paprika
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

While water is heating up, heat a small saute or frying pan over medium heat.  When hot, add pine nuts.  Heat the pine nuts for a few minutes until they become fragrant and become lightly toasted, stirring every half minute or so to prevent burning.

These are the pine nuts, lightly toasted.  See the difference?  Neither do I, but trust me, they smelled great and I didn't want to take a chance on burning them.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile,  in a large microwave-safe bowl mix together the shredded chicken, rosemary, both paprikas, black pepper, broth and Italian dressing.  Cover and heat in microwave, full power for 3-4 minutes, or until heated through.  Uncover and mix in lemon juice and pine nuts.  Recover and keep warm until spaghetti is ready.

 Drain spaghetti and place in a large serving bowl.  Top with chicken mixture and mix well.

Plate mixture, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Gratuitous photo of dog.


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