A mid-century recipe is just slightly more fun with a strange name.

serving-cornetti

This, for example, looks like “insane pasta chicken corn casserole,” but Del Monte’s marketing department felt that “chicken cornetti” would be a much more appealing name…

Chicken Cornetti
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (4-lb.) stewing chicken cut up
  • 4 cups (1-lb.) broken spaghetti
  • 2 cups finely sliced celery
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 to 3 12-oz. cans DEL MONTE Golden Whole Kernel Corn
  • ½ to 1 cup stuffed or ripe olives
  • ½ lb. pimiento cheese, cubed
Instructions
  1. Simmer chicken, covered, in boiling salted water (about 6 cups) until tender, about 2 to 3 hrs. Cool. Remove meat from bones; cut in large pieces. Measure broth; add enough hot water to make 6 cups liquid. Bring to boil; add spaghetti, chicken, celery, green pepper, onions, paprika. Cook 15 to 20 min. Add 1 can of the corn, the olives and cheese; cook 5 min. longer. Taste; add more salt if necessary. Serve wreathed with the rest of the Del Monte Corn, heated and seasoned, either on a hot platter or in the same utensil in which dish was cooked. Edge with thin slices of green pepper, if desired. Serves 10 to 12.

recipe-cornetti

So there were two things about this recipe that struck me as extremely unusual. (Yes, besides the olives, corn, spaghetti, and cheese.)

broth

First: we are making chicken broth from scratch but seasoning it with nothing but salt. I make a damn good chicken broth, and it calls for all kinds of veggies and herbs to help it rise above “water with chicken flavor dissolved in it.”

chicken

Second: This is a freakin’ retro recipe. I thought they were all about saving time by opening cans, especially recipes invented by a canned food company. Nope, I just boiled a chicken for three hours and then spent thirty minutes salvaging meat from the bones. Not pretty, and not fast.

ingredients1

And then I have to dump it all back into the pot… with spaghetti and vegetables.

ingredients2

Pimiento cheese, by the way, doesn’t come in cubes. It is a spread/dip, made of cheddar and cream cheese and pimiento and other magic. So we just dropped in a half pound glob of it and then felt really sorry for subjecting the delicious pimiento cheese to… well, everything else in this pot.

And then I dumped it in a dish and made Buzz eat it.

tasting-smile

“This just looks hilarious.”

The kids, meanwhile, were staring at their plates like — well, like I’d just served them chicken cornetti and told them that’s what we’re having for dinner.

tasting-bite

tasting-omg

“Urgkh…”

“Whoa, is it that bad?”

There was a long pause.

“No… actually, it works.”

And at this point the kids took bites too, and everybody scarfed it down and asked for seconds.

Verdict: Tasty. (Yeah, we’re surprised too.)

Tasting notes:

Somehow, everything manages to play well together. It’s creamy and interesting, with a lot of diverse flavors that all balance out. I have no idea how the hell you’d create this recipe in the first place, because it’s completely insane, but it works!

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