Spaghetti Squash #2 (of 3) - Pepper Chicken

   The experimentation continues! Used our slow cooker to prepare the squash for today’s recipe – just threw the squash into the crock pot, with water, and let it cook all day.  I plan to use three different cooking methods for the three spaghetti squash I have on hand. The last recipe will include my conclusions about the three cooking methods. (First method – baking squash whole in oven; third method – cutting squash in half before oven baking. For final results, click here.)
     Since I’ve already used ground beef in one recipe, decided to try chicken in this version. The Pepper Chicken is one of those “throw together” recipes that utilized what was on hand in the refrigerator; mushrooms would be a nice addition, capers could be added, etc.

Pepper Chicken over Spaghetti Squash     3 to 4 servings
1 small spaghetti squash  -- this will be cooked in a slow cooker so make sure it fits before proceeding with the cooking method described below
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ of an onion, thinly sliced
1 red, yellow or green pepper, cut into thin strips (I used about 1/3 of all 3 peppers)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
About 12 oz. cooked chicken – diced
¼ cup red wine
1/3 cup basil pesto
½ to 1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, more to taste
3 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese to grate over top, if desired

1.     Prick a small spaghetti squash all over so it will not burst when cooking – I used a paring knife this time and it worked well.

2.     Add 2 cups of water to slow cooker; add whole pierced squash, cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.

3.     To finish spaghetti squash . . . when cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise with a serrated knife. Scoop the seeds and fibrous strings from the center of the squash.

Use the tines of a kitchen fork to gently scrape around the edge of the spaghetti squash to shred the pulp into strands.

4.     Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat, sauté onions and peppers until transulent, adding garlic near the end. Add the chicken and cook until browned – just a few minutes. Stir in wine to deglaze the pan and cook a couple of minutes. Add pesto, chicken stock (start with ½ cup and add more as needed) and seasonings; simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over spaghetti squash, cooked pasta or rice, grating Parmesan cheese over the top if desired.

Click here for info about Spaghetti Squash Buying & Storage

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