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t's Heavenly Chicken and Pasta
tgray, Texas

This is one of my all-time favorites.
Start it in the morning, throw the chicken in about mid-afternoon,
cook the pasta right before you serve it, sooooo easy.

Tastes like you've killed yourself cooking.

v     Chicken ( I prefer boneless, skinless breasts or tenders) 
      use as much as you need to feed your family. 

v    
1 14.5 oz can Crushed or Diced Tomatoes 
v    
1 small can of Tomato Sauce 
v     1 Onion 
v    
1 Bell Pepper, Green is better for this 
v    
2 jars sliced Mushrooms, donít drain.
v    
1 tsp. Thyme 
v     1/2 tsp. Rosemary (optional) 
v    
1 cup (or 2 cups if you want it really cheesy) shredded cheddar cheese 
v    
1 package Garden Rotini 
v    
WATER

First you have to decide if your family likes to eat bell peppers, and onions or not. If they like to eat them, then cut them into bite sized pieces. If not, then leave them big enough to pick out. Which ever you decide, you need to slice the onion, and clean and slice the bell pepper. Now, if your kids really don't like mushrooms, you might stick them in a blender and puree them so they will really flavor the sauce. I like to use Green Bell Pepper as the color looks really pretty in the red tomato sauce.

Okay, the veggies are sliced, diced and ready, so now you get out your crock pot or a Dutch oven. Put the Crushed or Diced tomatoes in,  add the tomato sauce, the onion, the pepper, mushrooms (with liquid) and Thyme and Rosemary.  Stir it well.    

Put enough water in to fill the pot almost half way. 

Now, you put the lid on and let it just simmer away on a medium low heat all day - or a few hours if you don't have all day. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes, I think.  It takes maybe 15 minutes to throw it together, and as long as you want/have to cook.

About an hour to an hour and a half before you want to serve it, put the chicken in. It really depends on how much chicken and how big the pieces are.  If they are large, give them more time, if they are small, then an hour should do it. You don't want to over cook the chicken as it will fall apart when you serve it.

About 20 minutes before you want to eat, cook the Rotini according to package directions, and drain it.

Now, pour the drained Rotini into a 9x12x2 pan and spread it evenly across the pan. Sprinkle the cheese all over the top of the Rotini. (Isn't this hard?!)

Set your pan of Rotini and Cheese next to your Dutch oven, be careful - you don't want to set it on a hot burner!

Spoon your Chicken onto the Rotini and Cheese, placing it so it looks really pretty.

Did you use large pieces of veggies? If you did, then spoon them out and make them look good, too. 

Now, get your kids and pets out of the kitchen. You don't want to take a chance on spilling anything hot on them. If your spouse is bugging you, get him/her out, too 'cuz you don't want to be tempted to get it on them!

USING YOUR HOT PADS, pick up that pot and carefully pour the sauce all over the chicken, cheese and Rotini.

Now, let it sit for just a minute or two, and serve. Looks gourmet, but we know how simple it is! 

 

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