This is a big chicken pepperoni pasta casserole from scratch, and you end up with chicken soup and 6 pieces of frying/baking chicken as well.
The casserole has four parts — a chicken part, a pepperoni part, the pasta, and the cheese on top.
STEP ONE — Assemble these ingredients
- 1 big 5# chicken
- 2 onions
- 5 stalks celery
- 1 bell pepper
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- handful dried shitake mushrooms, or 1/2# fresh
- 3/4# pepperoni
- 1# hamburger or ground pork
- red chili pepper flakes, thyme, sage, rosemary
- butter, flour
- 1# pasta (the Bearded One prefers Angel Hair)
- 1/2# mozzerella cheese
STEP TWO — The chicken and broth
Ingredients: 1 chicken, 1 onion, 1 t. red chili pepper flakes, 1/2 t. thyme, 1/2 t. sage, rosemary sprig, 5 quarts water
Cut up chicken and reserve the wings, legs and thighs for frying/baking for another meal.
Boil the breast and back, the cut-up onion and the spices for half an hour, then leave chicken in stock to cool.
When cooled, remove the chicken breast and back and debone/shred.
Save the back meat for soup. Use the breast for the casserole.
STEP THREE — The meat and pepperoni and veggies
Ingredients: 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped bell pepper, 1 chopped onion, 4-5 cloves garlic, handful dried shitake mushrooms, 3/4 # pepperoni, 1 # ground hamburger or pork, 1/2 t. red chili pepper flakes, 1/2 t. thyme, 1/2 t. sage
Saute ingredients, cooking each separately,
starting with the meat, adding the spices,
and mixing in a large pot to sit and stay hot.
STEP FOUR — Return to the chicken
Ingredients: 4 T. butter, 1/2 C. flour, 3 C. chicken broth, shredded cooked chicken breast
Melt the butter in yet another big pot and whisk in the flour to make a paste (roux), then add 3 cups of broth and heat and stir ’til thick. Then add the shredded chicken breast meat.
To make soup, add the chicken back meat to the remaining broth. Add some cut up celery and a bit more thyme and boil.
STEP FIVE — Pasta and cheese and assembling
Ingredients: 1# pasta or noodles, 1/2 # grated mozzarella cheese
Assemble in this order in a huge baking pan or casserole: pepperoni concoction, pasta, chicken concoction, cheese.
Heat at 375 F until bubbly, uncovered, about 35 minutes.