How much do Americans love chicken?
Apparently quite a lot. But you probably know that, since nine out of 10 consumers purchase chicken regularly, according to the National Chicken Council. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported last July that Americans were on track to eat a record 93 pounds of chicken per person in 2018, the industry trade group said.
Americans also love pasta. The United States is the biggest pasta market in the world, says a 2018 story in Food Business News, and the average American eats almost 20 pounds a year.
When it comes to chicken and pasta, what’s not to love? Both are relatively inexpensive and can be cooked a bazillion ways. Bonus time saver: None of today’s recipes require separate cooking of the pasta.
Perhaps the most renowned combo is chicken noodle soup. Its curative power is not a myth. It can clear sinuses, ease nasal congestion and even exert a mild anti-inflammatory effect. Plus, it will soothe a sore throat.
Even if you’re not fighting a cold, chicken noodle soup is the perfect cozy lunch or dinner in winter months. And the recipe here concludes with a clever trick. Prepare the soup, take it off the heat, add the noodles, cover it and wait 22 minutes. At the end of the time, the noodles are perfectly cooked.
One of my grandmother’s dishes for entertaining was chicken spaghetti, which her descendants adore. I still make it the way Granny Trower did, cooking a whole hen from scratch. Spaghetti is cooked in the broth.
Many versions of chicken spaghetti include cheese, and they’re delicious, but they're not Granny's. To get it to taste just right, the way I remember it, I use sliced canned mushrooms just as she did. When I was younger and wanted to change the world, I tried fresh ones. It wasn’t the same.
Chicken noodle soup and chicken spaghetti start with fresh chicken and take a bit of time to make. For those who want to get a meal on the table more quickly, there’s one-pot chicken Parmesan, ready in half an hour.
This dish has all of the flavors of chicken parm, but the chicken is not breaded. Diced boneless skinless chicken breasts and short pasta, such as rigatoni or penne, are cooked in a Dutch oven in jarred marinara sauce and water. Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses add that flavor we love.
It’s not traditional, but it’s a great chicken and pasta dinner.