As a kid growing up in a West Texas town with three church colleges I went to a lot of church socials and pot luck dinners. It always seemed like the church ladies would make casseroles for these group meals. By my count, about six out of every 10 meat dishes were some form of Chicken Spaghetti. You would think in West Texas they would cook beef. I hated Chicken Spaghetti with a passion. It would literally make me sick. I got in trouble several times as a kid because I would not eat the awful dish. I remember getting sent to my room because I would not eat mom's Chicken Spaghetti, but that was ok as I would just go read a book. I became an avid reader. I was happy to go to my room just so I did not have to eat that terrible dish. If I came in and my mom was making Chicken Spaghetti I would head down the street and try to find a buddy that could invite me to dinner.
As I got older it became harder to avoid Chicken Spaghetti when served. I was often in environments where it would be difficult to not at least pick at the dish. In some cases I would have to eat some of it just to be polite and make a good impression. Then one day something magical happened. I was at a dinner with my girlfriend’s family and guess what her mother served, Chicken Spaghetti. I had to eat it, there was no where to dump it, hide it or do anything else with it. I would have to eat that whole pile of pasta with chicken and who knows what else that had been heaped on my plate. I tried to eat the Chicken Spaghetti in minute amounts mixed with salad, green beans or rolls. As I ate dinner a strange thing happened. The dish that I had hated with such passion was actually starting to taste pretty good. I could not believe it, I felt ashamed like I was doing something wrong as I savored the flavors in that dish. I thought it must have been a strange phenomena or maybe my taste had been messed up by something else. I pushed the dinner to the back of my mind until several weeks later when I sat at the table with my family. I had just come in and mom was fixing plates in the kitchen. She told me to sit down at the table and she would bring me a plate. Guess what was heaped on the plate she set down in front of me, yes it was Chicken Spaghetti. A whole plate full of Chicken Spaghetti with nothing else but a piece of garlic toast to help mask the taste. I started out with a small bite with toast, it was good. I took a bigger bite with no toast and it was wonderful. My mom’s Chicken Spaghetti was fantastic, what was wrong with me.
I later read the taste buds change about every seven years. My oldest daughter, who has three kids, uses this story to get her kids to try new foods or old foods they did not like again. I was reminded of this when my seven year old grand daughter called me the other night and told me “Papa, today is the day my taste buds change” she was turning seven and was all excited to try all the foods she did not like. The moral to this story is to try new things or even to re-try old things. You might find something you like. I thought a fitting ending to this story would be to give you my favorite Chicken Spaghetti Recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does, Wild Ed
Wild Ed’s Fantastic Chicken Spaghetti
• 3 cups Cooked Chicken
• 4 cups Dry Pasta or Spaghetti
• 1 can Cream Of Mushroom Soup
• 1 cup Cream of Chicken Soup
• 1 cup Velveeta
• ¼ cup Finely Diced sweet Green Pepper
• ¼ cup Finely Diced sweet Red Pepper
• ¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
• 2 Cloves of Garlic diced
• ½ cup black olives diced
• 1 small can of mushroom pieces
• 1/2 jar (2 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
• 1/2 teaspoon Brisket Rub
• 1/4 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning to taste
• Salt And Pepper, to taste
• 1/2 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
Cook and cut up chicken, at least three cups. Save the stock from the chicken to add to dish as needed
Sauté vegetables in olive oil and add spices, stir in and melt Velveeta, cans of soup and cheddar cheese. Add cooked chicken to mixture.
Cook spaghetti or pasta, I have become partial to fixing the pasta that looks like sea shells. When pasta is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients and mix well. Add chicken stock to reach consistency you prefer. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika for color. Enjoy.