New year, new you, right? That sentiment is such a dichotomy to me — one part rejuvenation and excitement, the other part pressure and dread. I can respect the outlook of what a new calendar year brings, but every year when the holidays are over and it's time to make a list of resolutions, I find my mind drifting to memories of the prior year far more than thinking forward. This isn't because I don't value a new start or bettering myself — I think it's because I thoroughly value memories, nostalgia, and tradition.
These are reasons the first recipe of 2016 is an old one from my mom, not something new or healthy. (Because I promise you, this recipe is neither of those things.) This is a simple and hearty recipe that reminds me of many New Years Eve's spent cozied up at home watching the ball drop. When I would come home for the holidays during college, my mom always asked for dinner requests and this chicken spaghetti made the top of my list every time. One year she even made extra for me to take back to my dorm room in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (A 9 hour drive from Texas.) All so that I could have the comforts of home with me when I was far away.
While I love fancy French cooking and appreciate healthy recipes and resolutions (I've got a Pinterest board full of them!), I'll never forget this tried and true recipe. This spaghetti is complete with cans of soup and Velveeta as ingredients — because this recipe is tradition and comes from my Texas mama who is so special to me.
The instructions here are pretty simple:
- First, boil and debone the whole chicken. Save the stock, you can add some to thin your sauce mixture in case it gets too thick.
- In a large saucepan on low heat add soups and Rotel tomatoes. Once warm, turn your heat to medium and add Velveeta in small chunks. Continue to stir off and on until fully combined. If you want extra creamy chicken spaghetti this is when you'd add the cream cheese. (If the mixture becomes too thick, add your reserved chicken stock.)
- Boil spaghetti noodles and drain when finished.
- Add chicken to sauce mixture, lower heat to medium and let the two marry for about 15 minutes, then add spaghetti noodles and mix well making sure the noodles are covered in sauce.