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Chef John's Chicken Spaghetti

Rated as 4.5 out of 5 Stars

"No canned soups were harmed in the making of this chicken spaghetti recipe, which showcases a whole bird. Other than requiring a little time, this recipe is dead simple. Just be sure to undercook your pasta by at least a minute, since it'll finish cooking in hot sauce for a few more minutes. This is a critical step, and allows all those flavors to get sucked up by the still hydrating spaghetti. Garnish with a little more Pecorino Romano cheese and basil."
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2 h 25 m servings 850
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Place chicken in a pot and pour marinara sauce on top. Add water and anchovies. Bring to a simmer, uncovered, over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, without stirring, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken to a bowl using tongs. Let cool to the touch.
  3. Meanwhile, bring sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, skimming off the fat from the surface, until sauce is reduced by at least half, 20 to 35 minutes.
  4. Tear off chicken meat by hand and transfer to a bowl, breaking the pieces into your desired size.
  5. Add the chicken, red pepper flakes, and salt to the reduced sauce. Cook and stir until chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Keep on low heat while you cook the pasta.
  6. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water according to package instructions, reducing time by 1 minute, about 11 minutes. Drain and return to the pot; reduce heat to low.
  7. Add the chicken sauce and Pecorino Romano to the pasta. Sprinkle in basil and add butter. Stir until butter melts, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add remaining Pecorino Romano cheese. Cover and let sit for 1 minute. Stir and serve.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • I cook only 4 ounces, or 1 portion, of pasta in the video, but this recipe makes enough sauce for 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of pasta.
  • If you want a thicker sauce, simply change the ratio of sauce to water when you start the recipe. You can also reduce it longer, but you knew that.
  • You can substitute chicken broth for the water and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for the Pecorino Romano.
  • This is also a great make-ahead meal, as you can prep your sauce one day, and then assemble the finished dish at a later date.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 850 calories; 54.4 53.8 33.7 106 1162 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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This is soooo good. I've made it two times now and I just can't get enough. The chicken is so tender and just makes a really flavorful sauce. I like the sauce a bit thicker than Chef John dem...

Wonderful! I followed the recipe as written, and it turned out fabulous. I think it's even better the next day. The leftover sauce also freezes well.

I followed the recipe exactly. I thought it was delicious, but my wife and children did not like it as much as I did. I think what threw them off is that they were expecting a traditional spaghe...

Chicken and spaghetti is my favorite combo. This recipe was 4 1/2 stars. I added 1 cup of wine during cooking time and reduced by 2/3