Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

I've seen recipes for chicken tetrazzini and turkey tetrazzini all over the internet over the past few years but I never felt the need to give it a try.  It's not one of those recipes I grew up with and I only heard of it from blogs and the food network.  Knowing that I had some leftover shredded chicken to use up it occured to me to give this dish a shot.  After the inital shock of all the butter, milk and cream in this dish I thought I'd go ahead with some adjustments.

I used only 4 tbsp of butter (the recipe called for 9!!!), only 2 cups of milk, no cream and about 2 - 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock.  It actually worked excpet leftovers are a little too try for my liking.  I'm sure if I loaded up on all that creamy goodness it would have been fine.  I added about a cup of chopped artichoke hearts which I thought was great!  I'd love to make something like this with more artichoke hearts - Yum! One thing I cannot understand about this recipe.  Why is this made with a long pasta instead of something short like penne, rigatoni, ziti?  I think I would have been happier with that.  Steve kept trying to twirl it (probably to make me crazy) but it's baked, it's supposed to be compact which is NOT twirlable my dear!!!  :-)

I am going to post the original recipe and you decide if you want to incorporate my changes above.  If you do make the full fat version I'd like to know if it made a difference with your leftovers.  Take a look at this recipe from Giada.

by Giada De Lauretiis


9 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 ounces linguine
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup dried Italian-style breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of butter over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a deep large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until pale golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden, about 12 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the chicken.

Melt 3 more tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drain. Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley to the chicken mixture. Toss until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well blended.

Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Stir the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pasta. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes.


Spryte said...

Yum!! That sounds delish!!

ARLENE said...

It's not a recipe that MY Italian grandmother made either, but I've made turkey Tetrazzini. I make it with farfalle--I agree spaghetti makes no sense--and have used a Michele Urvater recipe which doesn't use a lot of fat. Yours looks quite yummy, I must say.

Danielle said...

it looks delish! I haven't made this in a long time. Not sure why tho.

Joe Ambrosino said...

I'm with you, Michelle. This is too much fat for a Southern Italian to use. As far as the use of long flat noodles, these are traditional with recipes such as this because they are generally egg based and were therefore more often used on festive occasions when cream would be used.

Patti T. said...

I love the additions and subtractions that you have made to this recipe. Thanks for all the inspiraation that you give your readers.

teresa said...

oh how yummy! i love tetrazzini!

Amy Fazio said...

You ended up making it! Looks great.

Reeni said...

This is a dish I'm not familiar with - but it sounds rich and delicious. I like that you added artichoke hearts and would definitely go with a different type of pasta!

Peggy said...

Never tried to make tetrazzini before but this sounds delicious! I love the addition of the artichoke hearts!

Rosabela said...

I've never made chicken tetrazzini, but I would have made the same adjustments as you did for a lighter version of Giada's recipe. I'm not sure why long pasta was used but I would substitute a short pasta a well. The addition of artichoke hearts is a great idea, too. Really adds nice flavour to the recipe.

Claudia said...

Funny, i did not grow up with any tetrazzini and my grandmother was from the old country and certainly cooked Italian. So it's regional, Italian American or a scam!

I like your adjustments. Mixtures of cream and butter just taste delicious intitially (I know they truly do) but then they just weigh you down. And I think you're right - go with some tubular pasta to grab the creamy chicken bits. Artichoke hearts almost always make things better.

whozyerdanny said...

A classic dish done well! MMM!