Monday, September 14, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini


As I type this post it's raining outside. It's one of those typical fall/winter days where the sun never seems to come out and although it's only noon you have to turn the lights on. I love those days. It's those types of days where you will find me either crafting or in the kitchen baking something delicious. I dream of casseroles,quick breads,soups,stews and christmas around this time. Later in the week it's supposed to get back up into the 70's but for now, I am really loving this weather.

The other night I made this casserole and must of taken a dozen photos. I really don't think there is a good way to capture a casserole...None the less, this is really good. It comes from Giada De Laurentiis and I found the recipe on food network. I have had chicken tetrazzini many times but in reality it was made with cream of mushroom soup. I'm in no way knocking that version but I wanted a real version since they don't make cream of anything here. You can buy a dry mushroom soup packet and add in less water and voila you have the cream you want but I wanted to real deal this time around. I have mixed reviews though. Giada's version has you seriously working your butt off in the kitchen when it isnt necessary. If I would of done it her way I could of easily spent over an hour in there and still come away wondering if it was worth it. She has you cooking the pasta at the end where it should be done right away. She wants you to cook 4 chicken breasts where as I used chicken thighs that were cooked in the crockpot,shredded and put away for future use. These steps clearly cut your time down. If you want the original you can head over here to get it. This is my version,using her recipe but tweaked to help things along. The taste is very good but something was missing..I still don't know what yet. This makes alot wich I was happy about. I was able to freeze half of it to be eaten later on this month.

Chicken Tetrazzini
3-4 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
1 3/4 tsps. Salt
3/4 tsp. Pepper
1 lb. White Mushrooms,Sliced
1 large Onion,Finely Chopped
5 Cloves Garlic,Minced
1 TBL. Fresh Thyme Leaves;Chopped
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1/3 cup Flour
4 cups Milk,room temperature
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream..room temp
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
12 ounces Linguine..I used spaghetti noodles
3/4 cup Frozen Peas..I left out
1/4 cup Parsley Leaves; Chopped
1-2 cup Parmesan Cheese;Grated..I used parmesan and cheddar
1/4 cup dried Italian-style Breadcrumbs

Pre heat oven to 450 or 230 celcius. Grease a 13x9 baking dish and set aside. Place chicken in large mixing bowl and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook your pasta until it's tender but still has a slight bite to it; about 9 minutes; Drain and add it to chicken mixutre along with the frozen peas.

Meanwhile in either a large saucepan or deep large frying pan add 1 tablespoon of butter and oil and add mushrooms; cook until liquid from mushroom evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden- about 12 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until 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.

Add 1 tablespoon to same pan over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk,cream,broth,nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Increase to high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly,whisking often, about 10minutes. Pour sauce over entire chicken mixture and toss until well blended. Add in 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Transfer mixture to casserole dish. In a small bowl combine parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs;stir and sprinkle mixture over mixture. Bake uncovered,until golden brown and the sauce bubbles..25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.