Chicken and spaghetti was always a Friday night staple in our home. Though Poopa Dweck’s book states that it’s a Syrian custom to not eat this dish for Shabbat dinner because it’s a sign of bad luck, my family’s been eating it for years, and I don’t think we’re any less lucky than other people out there. So If you’re superstitious, make it on a weeknight. It’s a good meal with just a small side salad or vegetable. If you’re not superstitious, or just want to make a main course that consists of a carb and a protein (does the tomato sauce count as a vegetable?), then make this for Shabbat dinner. Your guests and family will fight over the crispy burnt edges.
When my mother makes this, she always leaves the chicken pieces whole. This way, it’s easier to eat just the spaghetti, which I often like to do (especially when there’s chili on the table – chicken and spaghetti chopped with some chili is awesome). I sometimes shred the chicken into the spaghetti, so that every bite has a little bit of chicken and a little bit of spaghetti. I find that the chicken also stays more moist this way and soaks up the flavor of the sauce more. Try it both ways and let me know which you prefer. Remember if you’re shredding to be careful to remove all the bones and stuff. No one wants a mouthful of spaghetti and chicken bones!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 chicken, cut into eighths (bone in, skin on)
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place chicken on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes, until cooked. Then let cool and shred, cut, or leave whole. Save the chickeny oil and juice!
3. While chicken is roasting, boil spaghetti in very salty water for one minute less than stated on the package.
4. Drain the spaghetti.
5. Place spaghetti in roasting pan and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, spices, salt, and some pepper. Mix well.
— Now you have what we like to call “And Spaghetti” which is the BEST Friday afternoon snack ever.
6. Add the chicken (pieces, shreds, whatever you decided) and the chicken juice and mix well.
7. Cover and roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, until the edges are crusty and the middle is soft.