When I was a kid, tetrazinni was a dish made from leftovers. In our house it could be from left over roast chicken, turkey or ham. The cheese back then was not of my liking either, usually Velveeta or American singles – YUCK!! Personally I only like it made with chicken and I prefer it with fresh seared chicken not the traditional boiled or stewed. 😀 One of the recipes I found was a much newer version that used “canned” products that I discarded immediately to lean towards the old fashioned version of scratch.
I have seen a bunch of recipes in old recipe files and brand name pamphlets for canned chicken. I even found one that must have come from a lunch lady’s files as it called for 20 cups of cooked chicken, 24 ounces of spaghetti noodles… honestly I quit reading at that point since I knew it would never for for the 2 of us and was giving me a headache to try and convert it to serve 2! I ended up taking the parts I liked from each recipe AND my memories to make my new one!
CHICKEN TETRAZZINI ala MEMORIES serves 4-6
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken in half
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons butter
1 LARGE stalk celery, sliced thin
1 shallot, diced
1 small (mini) red pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Cream Sherry
2-3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Mozzarella
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
- Generously season chicken pieces and sear 3-4 minutes per side in hot oil until cooked through and golden brown.
- Remove chicken and small dice OR shred. Set Aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
- Prepare noodles per package directions.
- Add butter to skillet.
- When butter is sizzling add celery, shallots and peppers to skillet and saute 2-3 minutes.
- Add flour to skillet, stirring to coat until golden.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and stir in the heavy cream, apple cider vinegar, cream sherry and thyme leaves. Simmer until starting to thicken and slightly reduced.
- Stir in cheeses, reserving a small amount for garnishing.
- Fold in spaghetti noodles and chicken pieces.
- Season to taste.
- Transfer to baking dish.
- Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake 20 minutes until heated through and all cheese is melted.
NOTE: I have been known to throw in a can of drained petite peas 😀 to make it an all in one dish.