Every year, we go to my sister’s house for Halloween. The children go trick-or-treating while the grown-ups stay at home to answer the doorbell and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. We always have something hot to drink, as well as a few Halloween-themed appetizers and desserts for our returning trick-or-treaters who are invariably cold and hungry. In addition, there’s always at least one main dish (usually some kind of casserole) for the adults.
This year, I made the casserole for the adults. I chose to do a Spanish-style Chicken Macaroni. We ate this a lot at my grandmother’s house growing up. It takes a little time to prepare and simmer the sauce, but is well-worth the wait. It’s delicious, filling, and warms you up from the inside out. Happy Halloween everyone!
- 1 lb. macaroni noodles
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 5 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 pcs. chorizo de Bilbao, sliced
- 1 8-oz. pkg. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or any cheese you like)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Boil macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Boil chicken in just enough water to cover until chicken is cooked through, then shred chicken into small pieces. Leave shredded chicken sitting in its broth until you’re ready to use it.
- In a large saucepot, sauté the chopped bacon until it begins to get crispy.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
- Add the garlic and onions to the pot and sauté until the onions begin to turn translucent.
- Add the chorizo, mushrooms and bell pepper and cook a little longer.
- Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce.
- Toss in one bay leaf and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the chicken with the broth into the saucepot, lower the heat to low, and leave it to simmer uncovered for 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- When the sauce is ready, toss the cooked pasta into it, stirring until the sauce and pasta are well incorporated.
- Pour the pasta into a 9×13 rectangular baking dish.
- Top the pasta with the shredded cheddar.
- Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the cheddar.
- Bake at 350°F until the cheese is melted.
NOTE: As seen in the photo, I decided to top the casserole pictured with a Bechamel Sauce. After pouring the pasta into the baking dish, I topped it with a layer of bechamel, then the shredded cheddar and parmesan. Yum!