Porcini and cremini mushrooms plus three types of cheese elevate weeknight Chicken Spaghetti to a higher level. Kids will love the creaminess of Chicken Spaghetti and parents will appreciate the added English peas.
1 cup boiling water
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
4 ounces processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta)
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)
1 1/2 cups frozen English peas, thawed
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 ounces French bread, torn into pieces
How to Make It
Combine 1 cup boiling water and porcini mushrooms in a bowl; let stand 20 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup soaking liquid. Chop porcini.
Cook pasta in boiling water with 2 teaspoons salt until almost al dente; drain. Rinse pasta with cold water, and drain.
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, chicken, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown. Remove chicken. Melt butter in pan. Add cremini mushrooms and garlic; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add flour; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Arrange rack in middle of oven. Preheat broiler to HIGH.
Combine reserved porcini liquid, broth, and milk. Gradually add broth mixture to pan, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Stir in processed cheese and cream cheese. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. Stir in Gruyère. Add porcini, pasta, chicken, peas, and chives; toss. Scrape pasta mixture into a broiler-safe 13 x 9-inch ceramic baking dish.
Place bread in a food processor; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Process until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over pasta mixture. Place dish on middle rack in oven; broil 6 minutes or until golden.