Week 9, Recipe 1: Puerto Rican Spaghetti with Chicken

Recipe courtesy of Daisy Martinez in Rachael Ray's February 2010 magazine
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large chicken drumsticks and thighs (about 2 3/4 pounds)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 pound spaghetti
For a change, shred the chicken before arranging on top of the pasta.


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and add to the skillet. Cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  2. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet and add the bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and any juices; lower the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and stir in the cilantro; season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente; drain. Top with the chicken and sauce.
Results:  Just okay.  Too tomatoey.  Probably the fault of the paste.  It needed different flavors in it.  I should've followed my instinct and put in my Italian seasonings.  I subbed parsley for cilantro.  The red peppers were really yummy.  I used angel hair because I love the taste!  I served it with fresh Italian bread topped with butter and garlic salt.  That bread was amazing.  Am I turning into a bread person?  Or just a fresh bread person?  Figures.  Me and my expensive tastes.