Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chicken Tetrazzini

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This post is dedicated to my Mom...........she is the reason I have such a passion for food.  She taught me to cook, which was fortunate for my father because Mom did a lot of traveling with her job!

Mom grew up learning how to cook from her father, who loved to bake, and her grandmother Nellie, who loved cooking Southern food. By marrying into a Sicilian family, she was also fortunate to watch my Nonna and learn some Italian cooking secrets.  To say she is an eclectic cook is putting it mildly!

OK - secretly I'm doing this blog as an excuse to scan in old pictures! 
I asked my Dad what was his favorite thing Mom made - his response was not surprising, "PASTA!"  Dad could eat pasta everyday.  My favorite pasta dish that Mom made when I was growing up was Chicken Tetrazzini.  Here are the ingredients:
8 oz spaghetti
1 garlic clove, minced
Chopped parsley
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup hot chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine*
1 cup heavy cream
Diced chicken breast
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
To begin, poach the chicken.  This means that you are simmering the chicken in water, with various vegetables and spices.  By doing this you are creating your own chicken stock.  I added onion, garlic, celery, lemon, salt and pepper to the water, along with 2 chicken wings and 1 breast. 
If you are going for fast you can buy a deli chicken and use that meat. 
When the chicken is cooked through, take the chicken out of the broth and let it cool.  Strain the broth and keep it hot.  When the chicken is cool, pick the meat off the bone.
Heat up a saute pan and put a little olive oil and butter in the pan.  Add the mushrooms and brown them.  Add garlic, bay leaf and parsley. 
When the mushrooms are brown, put them in the same bowl as the chicken meat. 
In the same saute pan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter.  When that is melted, add the flour and stir.  The butter will thicken, making a roux.  When the flour is incorporated into the butter, slowly add in the wine and hot chicken broth.  Slowly add the cream. 
In a sauce pan, cook the pasta in salted boiling water.  Stop cooking the pasta al dente.  This means that it still has a little bite to it - a little chewy.  The pasta will finish cooking in the oven.
Put the pasta in a pan.  Pour the chicken and mushrooms on top.  Pour the white sauce on top.  Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
*My Mom doesn't like cooking with wine.  Instead of wine, she put 1/4 cup milk into the dish.  Also, she added a little shredded cheddar cheese along with the Parmesan cheese.
Mom, Me, Tonette, Karrie and Julia
We all caught the cooking bug - OK, that might be an exaggeration with Tonette!
My dinner tonight!  Mangia!
This recipe is featured on Foodie Friends Friday! 


  1. Hi again Jackie, I love the stories you relate with your recipes. I never made chicken tetrazinni but your recipe looks delicious. Thanks for sharing it on Foodie Friends Friday.

    Joanne/Winelady Cooks

  2. This is a wonderful story and recipe! Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday.

  3. This sounds wonderful and love your story. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday

  4. This looks delicious. I will definetly try this and hope mine lookis as good as yours! Lovely story. Life without our mothers....Different. Glad I saw you on Foodie Friends Friday!

  5. I love the pictures and stories with your recipes. Thanks for sharing with us at "In and Out of the Kitchen Link Up Party"


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all feedback!