Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

This the the last in the series of recipes I am posting on my review of Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.  There are quite a few other recipes in this cookbook I can't wait to try and I will post them. 

Also, don't forget to comment for a chance to win one of three of Jennifer Chandler's cookbook, Simply Suppers that Smoky Mountain Cafe is giving away.  Drawing is April 12, 2011, winner will be announced no later than noon, April 13, 2011.

This Chicken Tetrazzini recipe is without a doubt the best one I have tasted so far.  Timing is the most important factor with this recipe.  Read the recipe over carefully before you start and plan to get everything timed just right. 

It is also the most labor intensive Chicken Tetrazzini recipe I have made.  A two-hour commitment on my part was kind of tough on a weeknight, especially after working all day and coming home and feeding the dog, doing laundry my children didn't get to and trying to DVR "The Kennedys" mini-series and along with  watching the results on "American Idol".

Another plus, this is an economical dish and can make one pack of chicken breast tenders or boneless, skinless chicken thighs go a long way.  A meal that feeds a crowd!  If you decide to make Chicken Tetrazzini for entertaining, your guests will sing your praises for a long, long time.

Does this picture get your attention?  Oh, yes we have leftovers and I dreaming of another plate of this cheesy, goooey, chicken goodness!

4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided, plus extra for the casserole dish and topping.  (I used salted butter, it's what I had on hand, plus I like the extra slightly salt taste.)

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced very thin
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I seared 1 package  - 1 1/2 lbs. - of chicken breast tenders - it wound up being a little more than 2 cups)
1 (16 ounce) box linguine, cooked per package directions
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the chicken and set aside.  (I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil  and heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Sear on each side for approximately 4 to 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Shred while the veggies are cooking.  I sued the same skillet to cook the veggies.  The veggies cooking along with the chicken bits left in the skillet made for some awesome smalls in the kitchen.)

Preheat the oven to 425-degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs.  Set aside.

Get the water boiling and cook the linguine.

In a large (high-sided) saucepan over medium-high heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and the oil.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and they become slightly golden, about 10 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic, and thyme.  Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. (This smells incredible.  The recipe didn't call for it, but I HAD to season this with salt and pepper to taste at this point.) Add the wine and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a LARGE bowl.  Add the shredded chicken, cooked linguine, peas, 2 tablespoons of parsley and set aside.

In the same pan used for the mushrooms, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat.  When the butter starts to foam, add the flour and cook whisking until thickened, about one minute.

A couple of notes here; when butter and flour is combined like this, you wind up with a globby hunk of dough.  I'm a purist when it comes to making a roux.  Add a tablespoon of oil and the roux will be much easier to work.   At medium-low, it will take forever for the roux to cook, even in a cast iron skillet.  Make the roux over medium or medium-high heat.  Also, please cook the roux for more than one minute to deepen the flavor which is the whole point in making a roux.  Keep whisking and cook it for at least five minutes to cook off the flour taste and allow the deeper nutty taste to evolve.

While continuing to whisk , gradually add the milk, heavy cream and chicken stock.  Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Pour the sauce over the pasta mixture, and toss until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley evenly over the pasta.  Top with thinly sliced pats of butter.  Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  (Place a baking sheet under baking dish when placing in the oven, there's a lot of liquid in the dish and at 425 degrees, it will bubble over in the oven.)

Enjoy and have a fantastic weekend!!!


Big Dude said...

It sure do sound good.

The Japanese Redneck said...

That's one mean looking Chicken Tetrazzini!

Gladys said...

This is a great recipe. I use one I got from Better Homes or Betty Crocker or Betty Homes and Better Crocker years ago.

This freezed beautifully. I always make up enough fro Grant's Army then freeze half since Grant's Army doesn't visit very often.

Debbie said...

This looks delicious and well worth the effort. It sounds just great.

teresa said...

oh my goodness, YUM! what a delicious dish.

Chris said...

This is the only tetrazzini I have seen that didn't use cans of cream of something chicken so the extra work must be worth it!

Lea Ann said...

I love chicken pasta cassarole dishes like this. Reading this made me instantly hungry. yum

Penny said...

Hi Katherine! I've missed you. This is the kind of chicken casserole that I love. It will go in my file of company casseroles. Thanks for your visit.

MaryBeth said...

The picture did get my attention...All it took was one look at that cheesy topping.

Marwari Spices and Pulses said...

Wow.....nice post