I've been making this dish for my family since I was a teenager. I believed everything in the world could be improved by adding Campbell's soup to it! Although my cooking has grown up, we all still love this simple, easy-to-make recipe. I think it is a great dinner for a beginning cook to make, or anyone who needs to make supper in a half hour!
Slice and chop the onion; peel and thinly slice the carrots (I like to use the "cheese slicer" portion of my hand grater) and finely chop the cloves of garlic. Wash and slice the mushrooms. You may leave these waiting on the cutting board or move them all together to a bowl until you're ready to add them to your recipe.
Start a pot of water heating that is large enough to cook the entire package of pasta. Cut the boneless skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces while you're waiting for the water to boil. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan. Spread over the bottom of the pan and heat on medium to low heat, and when it's starting to sizzle, add the chicken pieces in a layer across the bottom. Keep the heat medium to low to prevent burning.
By this time the water should be boiling. Add a pinch of salt to the water and add the pasta. Turn the heat down just low enough that when covered the pot does not boil over. Cover the pasta pan and stir the chicken breast pieces on the stove. Keep an eye on the pasta. (If it is ready early, drain it, stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to prevent sticking, and cover but turn the burner off.)
After the chicken is halfway cooked (it will look half pink, half white) add the onions, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms and stir again. Cover. Check pasta for doneness if you have not already. Give the chicken and vegetables about five minutes, then uncover and stir. Cover again for about another five minutes. After this, the chicken should be done, the carrots should be soft but not mushy, and the onions should be translucent. Uncover, stir, and turn up the heat to get rid of some of the excess water in the bottom of the pan. Add the can of cream of chicken soup, stir, taste, and season as needed with salt and pepper.
If the chicken finishes cooking before the pasta, cover and remove from heat. The same goes if the pasta is done first. I like to mix them together but sometimes it gets a little dry. If that happens you may add another can of cream of chicken soup or a little milk or cream. Enjoy!
VARIATIONS and SUBSTITUTIONS: If you have someone who dislikes onions, just add a couple extra cloves of garlic! A person who is not a fan of carrots? Substitute some chopped spinach or broccoli. Mushroom haters? Artichoke hearts or zucchini will do just as well BUT add the zucchini near the end so it doesn't get cooked to a mush. I would avoid tomatoes or celery in this recipe, as they will take over the flavor and entirely change it.