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Chicken Tetrazzini

The chilly weather brings back the desire to cuddle up with a good book and plan a homey old fashioned casserole.

 

While fingering through a cookbook, I came across this recipe and thought I’d give it a comeback in time for holiday leftovers. No need to wait for the holidays though since it goes well with leftover chicken too. 

Tetrazzini is an American pasta dish that includes a cream sauce, mushrooms, peas and either chicken, turkey, or seafood. Legend has it as being invented in San Francisco and named after the famous opera singer of the early 1900s, Luisa Tetrazzini, who lived there for many years.

Cooks have since made variations of this recipe by adding cooked chopped bacon, chopped red bell peppers, corn and an assortment of cheeses; for instance Swiss, cheddar, sharp provolone, mozzarella, fontina, and Monterey jack. Other recipes are completed with a simple Parmigiano cheese sauce much like an Alfredo sauce. Different noodles are interchangeable. If you don’t have egg noodles use whatever long pasta you have in the pantry.

Although the Tetrazzini is considered old fashioned, it still tastes very good and is an excellent way to use up leftovers. The original recipe was prepared with mushroom soup. However, it requires just a few simple ingredients to make homemade beginning with a simple Roux which is the thickening property of gravy.

It is an economical all-in-one-dish meal with outstanding flavor that is a welcome to those who always have plenty of leftovers. After you try it, you will want to make extra to have leftovers to make into a Tetrazzini. It's that Good!

Quick to make too. While the water is boiling for the pasta, the sauce is prepared. Next mix the pasta and sauce with the other ingredients, add the topping then bake for 30-40 minutes. 

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

12 ounces egg noodles, spaghetti, linguini or other pasta

12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 4-5 cups)

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1-1/2 cups of milk

1/4 cup cream

2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup dry sherry (or vermouth or dry white wine)

3 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken

1 cup peas

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano

1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese

2 tablespoon lemon juice, for freshness

Salt and Pepper to taste

Ground nutmeg (optional)

1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs, Italian seasoned or Panko 

Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional) 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°. Heat 2 to 3 quarts of water for the pasta adding 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water. In a sauté pan, melt three tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook up to ten minutes; set aside. 

About now, put the pasta into the boiling water you've heated. Follow the package directions and cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe. 

Make a Roux: (A roux is a thickening agent made from equal parts butter and flour).

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the 1/4 cup flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Mix together the 1-1/2 cups milk, 1/4 cup cream, 2 cups chicken broth, and the 1/4 cup sherry and slowly whisk into the saucepan with the butter and flour. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes until it thickens into a sauce. 

When the pasta is ready, drain it and place it back into the pot. Add the sauce, mushrooms, chicken, and the peas. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmigiano cheese and the 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese. Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if using, again to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole. 

Make the Topping: In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/3 cup Parmigiano and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits.

Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden. Garnish individual servings with chopped parsley. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Cook's Note: Ingredients can be converted to low-fat. If using low-fat cheese, it is better to buy a bar and grate on a box grater or in a food processor yourself since the pre-grated low-fat cheese varieties do not melt as well.

I welcome any questions or comments you might have.

Buon Appetito! from Amelia's Kitchen.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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