|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 56g||72%|
|Saturated Fat 24g||122%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||10%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
A great dish to make for a crowd, this chicken tetrazzini can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated until one hour before serving time. It's a great dish for a potluck a big family get-together.
Tetrazzini was named for an Italian opera star, Luisa Tetrazzini. There are many variations on the recipe, from turkey tetrazzini to tuna tetrazzini and ham tetrazzini. The creamy sauce usually contains cheese and is often made with a splash of sherry. Mushrooms are added in many versions, and the pasta dish is usually baked with a crunchy topping of breadcrumbs, almonds, or canned fried onions.
- For the Chicken:
- 2 pounds chicken breasts
- 3 pounds chicken leg quarters with thighs
- 3 cups water (or unsalted chicken stock)
- 2 medium carrots (sliced)
- 1 medium onion (quartered)
- 3 celery tops
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- For the Sauce:
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 cups milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup dry sherry
- For the Pasta:
- 1 pound thin spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 12 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
- 16 ounces cheddar cheese (shredded)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this chicken dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.
Make the Chicken
Gather the ingredients.
Place the chicken in a large Dutch oven or kettle with the water, carrots, onion, celery tops, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour until tender.
With a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a bowl and set aside to cool.
Strain the broth and return to the kettle. Bring to a boil and boil gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the broth is reduced to about 2 cups.
Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the bones and dice, discarding the skin. There should be about 6 cups of diced chicken. Set aside.
Make the Sauce
Gather the ingredients.
For the sauce, melt 3/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan.
Remove from heat. Stir in the flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg. Stir until smooth and well blended.
Return to medium heat. Gradually add the milk and the 2 cups of reduced broth, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl with the heavy cream.
Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot mixture from the saucepan.
Then return the egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until sauce is hot. Do not boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the sherry.
Make the Pasta
Gather the ingredients.
Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water in a large pot following the package directions for al dente. Drain thoroughly.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute the mushrooms for 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Set aside.
Return the spaghetti to the pot. Add 2 cups of the sauce to the spaghetti toss to coat well.
Remove another 2 cups of sauce to a small bowl. If making ahead, store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Add the diced chicken and sauteed mushrooms to the remaining sauce.
Divide the spaghetti into two 8-inch square baking dishes, making a well in the center. Spoon half of the chicken and mushroom mixture into the center of each. Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded cheese over each dish.
Cover with foil and preheat the oven to 350 F. Alternatively, refrigerate until 1 hour before serving and preheat the oven.
Bake foil-covered casseroles for 30 to 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Just before serving, heat the reserved sauce.
Drizzle over the baked spaghetti and enjoy!
- If possible, use freshly grated cheese. Commercially grated cheese is a convenient choice, but there are drawbacks. Some pre-shredded cheeses contain additives and cellulose. Freshly grated cheese melts more smoothly is cheaper.
- Save the chicken bones for future stock. Store in a zip-top bag and freeze until you're ready to make more chicken broth.
- Sprinkle toasted buttered breadcrumbs over the casserole before drizzling with the remaining sauce. To make the breadcrumbs, toss 1 cup of soft breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and a dash of kosher salt. Cook the breadcrumbs, stirring frequently, in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp.