Thursday, March 3, 2011

Turkey Tetrazzini

Many, many years ago I bought a special edition of Cooking Light. On the front of the magazine it says "Display until December 31, 2003." There's a recipe in it for Chicken Tetrazzini that always looked good to me, but for whatever reason I never made it. I remember at one point I was going to make it for a friend after she had a baby, but then I think she ended up having to be admitted to the hospital again, so I never took them dinner. A few weeks ago I cooked a whole turkey because it was taking up a lot of space in my freezer, and I remembered this recipe. I figured I'd switch the chicken to turkey and use up some of the meat I had left. Win win!

Chicken Tetrazzini
Source: Cooking Light

1 tablespoon butter
Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread

Preheat oven to 350°.

Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.

Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.

Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.

To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.


I originally planned this on a night that I was taking dinner to someone from church, but then I found out she's diabetic, so I wasn't sure if this would be the best dish for her to have. i didn't want to come up with something new, so I figured I'd go ahead and still make it for us and take her something different. At first I was going to cut it in half instead of freezing a casserole, so I only got two packages of mushrooms, but then I figured I might as well make it as written and have one in the freezer. I stuck with the reduced amount of mushrooms. My kids aren't big mushroom fans anyway, so it kind of worked out okay. Oh, and instead of making bread crumbs for the top I used some panko I already had on hand.

I was worried it was going to be too bland when I tasted it once everything was mixed together, but I needed to be leaving to take dinner, so I didn't have time to play around with it. It was definitely on the bland side, so with the one I was putting in the freezer I took it out of the casserole dish and added some Lawry's Seasoned Salt to it. I think I've gotten lazy lately because that's my go to seasoning when I think a dish is lacking flavor. It's just easier to throw some of that in there than try and figure out what it really needs.

This is definitely something I'd make again, and it's extra nice that it makes two (or I suppose you could do it all in one bigger pan) because now I have a go to dinner in the freezer when I need something fast.

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