Sunday, April 17, 2011

BBQ Chicken Spaghetti

I know it sounds a little strange but stay with me. BBQ Chicken Spaghetti is reminiscent of a Chili 5-Way from Steak 'n Shake with chicken instead of beef. Or, if you've never had the pleasure of savoring a Chili 5-Way (you poor soul!), think pulled BBQ chicken sandwich, minus the bun, plus pasta and cheddar cheese. That's some delicious-sounding math, if you ask me.

Here's how I do it:

1. Make the BBQ sauce.

Yes, I make mine from scratch. You could easily use your favorite bottled sauce, though. Just note that if your sauce is on the thicker side, save some of the pasta cooking water to thin it out a bit.

I adapted my sauce recipe from a Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich recipe by Ellie Krieger. I like my sauce on the sweeter side so I sub honey for some of the molasses. Truth be told, I usually make the sandwich recipe and use half of the chicken for it and the other half for this spaghetti dish later in the week.

This is Ellie's sauce recipe with a few of my tweaks:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons honey
1 Splenda packet
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, vinegar, molasses, honey, Splenda, pepper, salt and Woozie sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes

2. While the sauce simmers, pull the meat off of the rotisserie chicken and shred into bit-sized pieces.

3. Toss the pulled chicken with 1/2 of a thinly sliced red onion and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic in a skillet just to heat it through. Should only take about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

NOTE: If you are using leftover chicken from the sandwich recipe, your chicken is already coated in the sauce and has probably absorbed a good bit of it. Add 1/2 cup ketchup and 1 tsp chili powder to the skillet to loosen up the sauce a bit.

4. Top cooked spaghetti (or any pasta) with chicken, sauce and shredded cheddar cheese.

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