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Mother's Chicken Spaghetti

Yield 12 servings


  • 1 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) broiler-fryer, cut up
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

How to Make It

  1. Place chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, and water to cover in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Remove chicken from broth; cool, reserving 2 1/2 cups broth. Bone chicken, and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

  2. Place tomatoes in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in cream and 1 cup reserved broth; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in nutmeg, pepper, and remaining salt. Set aside.

  4. Combine beef and sausage in a medium skillet; cook over medium heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and set aside.

  5. Sauté mushrooms, onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic in remaining butter in a Dutch oven 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add tomatoes, white sauce, meat, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes to Dutch oven; stir well. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and set aside.

  6. Spoon one-third of meat sauce into a lightly greased 5- quart casserole. Top with half of spaghetti, half of chicken, one-third of meat sauce, and half of Cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, beginning with spaghetti and ending with Cheddar cheese. Pour remaining reserved broth over layers. Bake, covered, at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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