So there I was, doing a little food shopping a few weeks ago, when I was suddenly hit by a flash of inspiration. A casserole! But not just
a casserole, an abomination of fat, carbs, empty calories, and flavour. Like a man possessed, I wandered the aisles of my local Stop&Shop hand-picking the groceries I didn't already have to create this horror.
Today was the perfect day to set about bringing this mad concoction to life. Here's what happened...
2-3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 package/block cream cheese
1 jar (24oz./680g) three cheese pasta sauce
1 jar 505 Hatch Green Chile sauce (your choice of heat, I used "medium")
1 lb. box elbow macaroni
2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
(optional) Anthony Phillips' "Field Day" album or background music of your choice
Season and cook chicken breasts ahead of time (I did it the day before, it's summer and I hate having the oven on all day), and dice them (or somewhere thereabouts).
Over low heat, melt cream cheese in a saucepan big enough to hold the jar of pasta sauce. Stir until smooth (more or less). Add in pasta sauce and stir to combine well. Resist just eating spoonfuls of sauce, because that stuff is GOOD!
Boil elbow (Spanish for "The Bow") macaroni to al dente
firmness. Drain, add sauce to macaroni, and combine well. Resist eating spoonfuls of the now heavenly macaroni, because DAMN that stuff is good!
Prepare a 13x9 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour macaroni mixture into casserole. Evenly distribute chicken over the mixture. Evenly pour 505 Green Chile sauce over chicken. Finally, top casserole with the cheddar cheese.
Bake in "350°F" oven (180°C) for 20-25 minutes to warm up chicken and melt cheese. I put my temperature in quotes because my oven is screwed up. I'll set it to 350°, but my oven thermometer reads 425°. I need a new gas stove.
Remove from oven, let it rest for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!
This turned out surprisingly well, considering I essentially mixed Italian and Southwest spices. If I could have done anything differently, I would have added a bit of diced tomato to the pasta sauce, as I think it needed just a touch more acidity to the mix. Still, it's a very tasty dish that I'll have leftover for the next week or so.
Yeah, the plate size in the second pic. I was going to put it in a bowl originally, but because it held together so nicely, I reached for the nearest plate in my dish rack, and uhh... yeah. Small plate. Oh well, so much for classiness (not that the bowl would have been more classy).