The Shameless Chef: Cousin Sarah's Chicken Pasta

Hey look, it's pasta, but it's not shells! Aren't you proud of me?
Hey look, it's pasta, but it's not shells! Aren't you proud of me?

Here's a recipe I made up off the top of my head that isn't complicated, isn't too bad for you, and has a grand total of four ingredients (five if you count water, which you would only do if you were a dick). After running it through a focus group, I settled on the moniker "Cousin Sarah's Chicken Pasta," because the poll questions showed it brought to mind a familiar, down-home feel in the customer's mind.

Okay, now I'm being told that I did not invent this recipe, I do in fact have a cousin Sarah, it is in fact her recipe, and her father, my uncle, used to visit us twice a month and took us out to eat at our local Chinese buffet every time. Huh. Well, let that be a lesson, kids: Don't self-medicate during those high school years.

You will need: • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts • 1 box of manicotti • 1 jar of spaghetti / tomato sauce • Mozzarella cheese

First, the fun part. Get out your favorite pair of Master Chef dual-ambulatory kitchen shears (some civilians call them "scissors", if you can imagine!) and start cuttin' up that chicken. You'll want to cut it into pieces small enough to fit inside, oh, say, a manicotti shell.

I could think of a funny caption for "choke the chicken" and for "cut the cheese," but sadly not for "cut the chicken." Sorry to have wasted your time.
I could think of a funny caption for "choke the chicken" and for "cut the cheese," but sadly not for "cut the chicken." Sorry to have wasted your time.

Now guess what you do. Go on, guess. GUESS, ASSHOLE. Thank you, yes, you stuff the chicken pieces inside the manicotti shells. Depending on how big of a casserole dish you're using, you'll want to stuff anywhere between 8 and 14 shells.

When you're working with raw chicken, you may have visitors. Pitiful, right?
When you're working with raw chicken, you may have visitors. Pitiful, right?

Now dump the spaghetti sauce over the pasta evenly and pour a cup of water over the whole thing. It'll start bubbling around this time, which usually means the sauce is seeping into the shells and only rarely means some kind of pasta monster is about to try to eat R2-D2. Cover the whole thing in foil, set your oven on 350, and put it in for 45 minutes. Once your 45 minutes are up, liberally sprinkle it with mozzarella and put it back in for 5 more minutes.

If the manicotti shells are a little too al dente for you, tough shit. No, just kidding, add a little more water and put it back in for another ten minutes.
If the manicotti shells are a little too al dente for you, tough shit. No, just kidding, add a little more water and put it back in for another ten minutes.

If you want the pasta to get really mushy and soft, then before you put it in the oven, you can let the whole thing sit in the fridge for 4-5 hours or just leave it in there overnight. But odds are if you've got that kind of time before you eat, and are that good at planning, you're probably not all that interested in a Shameless Chef dish, even if my cousin did invent it. Oh, I'm also told that since you're working with raw chicken you need to watch out for "Sal Monella," but frankly I don't let anyone tell me how to cook my goddamn pasta, even if he is Italian.


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