This is a recipe that was inspired by something my grand aunt Abby gave me one night.
She spent many years in the US, so I am sure that she picked up some tips there.
Time to prepare: 20 mins
Time to finish: 60 mins
1 x Cooked Chicken.
(You can buy a cooked chicken or cook one yourself.
I often boil a chicken which also gives a great stock that can be used.)
2 x tins of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup (you can substitute this for something less calorific)
500g Pasta of you choice. (I prefer penne or quills myself.)
Pasta/Parmesan cheese. (I often use one of those packets of pasta cheese, as they are easy.)
2-4 packets of mozzarella.
Turn on the oven to about 200 degrees centigrade.
Fill the kettle and put it on to boil.
Empty the 2 cans of chicken soup into a large oven proof dish/saucepan with a cover. (I have a large La Creuset pan which is just the job.)
Heat slowly with a can full of water or stock.
When the kettle boils put it into another pan and get the pasta cooking.
I put a good spoonful of salt in the water.
Make sure that the water is boiling vigorously before putting the pasta in.
Boil vigorously until the pasta is 'al dente', having a slight bite.
If it is soft, then you are shagged.
In the meantime, remove all the chicken meat from the cooked chicken.
You can also boil the remains to make a nice stock.
At this stage, we have hot soupy sauce, chicken meat removed and pasta almost cooked.
Cool.... Have a quick drink of beer.
Put the chicken into the sauce.
Add the pasta/Parmesan cheese and mix.
Add some stock or water so that it is thick and creamy.
Add the pasta and mix again.
Take the mozzarella cheese and tear it and place it over the top reasonably evenly.
Ready ??? not quite.
Have a taste of the gloop and adjust for salt and/or pepper. Quite important. The cheese is salty, which should be enough. Check, because it is easy, to see if it is to your taste. I would suggest using white pepper, as black pepper leaves black bits, which some patrons may not appreciate.
Bung in the oven for 30 mins. Check after 20 mins, in case things are too hot. My last check, was that after 20 mins it was 76C.
After that remove the cover and crank up the heat to the max.
After about 10 mins, it should be nicely browned.
If it is not browned, you can leave it for a few minutes until you are happy.
I prefer to leave it for about 30 minutes before serving it.
It is boiling hot when you remove it, about 200 + degrees, so unless you want a burnt mouth, wait.
Enjoy. Its nice with a fresh salad.
Gherkins are nice. Crusty bread. Garlic bread.
I have tried garlic, which is nice, but it is not for everyone.
Chili would also be good.
It is best eaten freshly cooked.
It is also great eaten the next day for lunch at work or whatever.
I make it for my family and it is usually eaten this way.
I usually eat for lunch the next day.
I like it best at room temperature or warmed.