I try to keep King Daddy provisioned at all times when I am called out of town. I literally count the plastic containers of leftovers in the refrigerator to make sure he will not starve. I realize this is my failing. I have conditioned King Daddy to expect to be fed at all times, whether I’m in town or not. I think that might be called enabling.
So I was out of town on a super secret project that I will reveal to you at the proper time and I call KD on my way back just to report that I am still alive. “The refrigerator is empty,” he says wistfully. I think he might have over-eaten a bit, but I do not call that to his attention. “That’s fine,” I tell him. “I’ll cook supper when I get back.”
Have I mentioned to you that it’s pouring down rain and there are tornado warnings? I am thinking grilling a steak is just not an option. So when I get back to Brentwood I head to my beloved Publix for the single best invention of the 21st century – rotisserie chicken (and yes, you greedy people, there’s a recipe coming for repurposed rotisserie chicken).
Rotisserie chicken has saved my life many times. First of all, you cannot tell it’s not homemade. You can take that chicken right out of the paper bag, plop it on a platter and tell a huge fib that you made it yourself for a dinner party. Of course, I have never done that. It also makes quick work of a casserole, which most people don’t realize takes more time and dishes than a country club buffet. And like Sister Schubert yeast rolls, I can’t make it any better or cheaper. That is my definition of a revolutionary idea.
And an added bonus is that even King Daddy cannot eat an entire rotisserie chicken in one sitting. So his anxiety level due to the vast spaces of emptiness in the refrigerator is greatly reduced because now, once again, there are leftovers.
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup Marsala
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup chicken broth
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces thin spaghetti
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- ¼ cup dried Italian-style breadcrumbs
- Shred chicken and set aside. Melt one tablespoon of the butter and add the mushrooms. Saute with a little salt and pepper until well browned. Add the marsala and reduce any liquid in the pan. Remove the mushrooms and add the onion, sautéing until tender. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Combine the mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme and set aside.
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and whisk for about a minute. Ad the milk, cream, broth, lemon juice and nutmeg. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens slightly. Salt and pepper to taste. Note: This will be thinner than a regular cream gravy but it’s all good. The warm pasta will absorb much of the sauce.
- Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Mix the pasta with the chicken, mushroom mixture and sauce. Mix the Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Put the chicken mixture in a casserole dish and top with the cheese/breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling.