Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

 I loved chicken tetrazzini growing up.  But the chicken tetrazzini we used to have...came from a box.  Sad to say my grown up tastes do not allow for many pasta dishes from a box, except the occasional macaroni n cheese.  Hence why I haven't had chicken tetrazzini in years.

It must have been fate when I watched Giada DeLaurentis make the ultimate chicken tetrazzini from scratch.  Her version, however, included lots of butter, whole milk, even cream.  I decided I would try to lighten it up just a bit.

Chicken Tetrazzini
Start to finish: 70 minutes
Makes 9-12 servings

16 oz shredded chicken
8 ounces whole wheat linguine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup white wine
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cup 1% milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

This recipe has a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps so I find it less stressful if I pull them all out at the beginning and do any prep work ahead of time.  This means chopping the onions, garlic and parsley; measuring the pasta, chicken, liquids, cheese, and peas.... you get the picture.  Also preheat the oven to 450 and spray your casserole dish with olive oil spray.  Trust me, if you get everything ready, this casserole will come together in a snap.

Start by bringing a pot of water to boil and cooking your linguine just short of al dente.  If you slightly undercook the pasta it will keep cooking in the oven and soak up some of the sauce.

While that's working, saute the onions, garlic and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of thyme in one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.

Once the onions are translucent, add the wine and simmer until it reduces down to almost nothing.

Transfer the onion mixture to your casserole dish.  Add the chicken and peas at this point.

In the same pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Whisk in the flour, allowing it to cook off for a minute.

Then whisk in the broth, milk, remaining thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Add more salt if you want.

Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, bring the heat down to a simmer and whisk until the sauce thickens, like this:
Don't let the sauce thicken too much, because it will thicken up more in the oven.

Add the linguine to the sauce and combine the two.

Then add the pasta to the casserole dish along with the parsley.  Mix it all together and distribute it evenly along the casserole dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle this mixture over the entire casserole.  Spray the top of the casserole with olive oil spray to help with browning.

Bake about 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
 I sprinkled some chives over the top, which you can see burned.  If you want to make the dish pretty with some chives, wait until after you cook it :-)

Depending on how hungry you are, divide this casserole into either 9 or 12 servings.  Serve with a nice salad.


  1. I'm totally making this tonight! Thanks for the recipe :)

  2. I will definitely try this one. It would go good with Buttery Garlic Herb Knots!

  3. I've never even heard of chicken tetrazzini. I promise I dont live in a box.. But - It looks great!! I'll try this one!