So I have made a startling discovery sitting out here on the deck because the weather is nice and I can’t smoke in the house anymore. Nail polish goes bad.
The last time I bought nail polish was about three years ago. And I noticed, over time, that my toenail painting skills were beginning to slip. I attributed that to advancing age and the inability to bring my toes even halfway within range of the polish. Today I happened to pick up a fetching pink polish called “I’m Indi-A Mood for Love” (wouldn’t you hate that job – naming nail polishes?) at the supermarket and it went on like a charm. I realize this has nothing to do with Chicken Tetrazzini, but if any of you are having the same problem I just figured I’d pass along this piece of new-found wisdom. And if any of you are attending the Women of St. Paul’s Sherry Party this week, please admire my toes. Discreetly.
But I digress and I haven’t even started yet. On to Chicken Tetrazzini, which by the way is not even remotely Italian. Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini has been around the casserole circuit as long as there have been funerals and christenings. But let me tell you something about making casseroles. They’re a hell of a lot of work. Unless you have a refrigerator stocked with perfectly matching leftovers you have to start each component from scratch before combining them into the perfect dish. I am always amused when Mark helps me “clean up” after I make a casserole. What he didn’t see is that I dirtied every damn dish in the kitchen and cleaned as I went before my pristine casserole popped out of the oven.
I have been a chicken cooking fool for the past month since I got my Char-Broil Big Easy. It is an outdoor roaster that requires no clean-up which was given to me at absolutely no cost for writing blog posts for the company. And it works like a charm without any effort on my part, which is fine because I can just sit on the deck, having a glass of wine and playing World of Warcraft (I am Clairet, the night elf priest, blessings upon you) while my chicken roasts away to juicy perfection. So I had a lot of surplus chicken when I made tetrazzini. I will advise you, however, to get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store unless you just love cooking chicken like I do.
1 rotisserie chicken
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup marsala
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
Juice from ½ lemon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 ounces thin spaghetti
1/2 cup frozen peas
½ cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup dried Italian-style breadcrumbs
Shred chicken and set aside. Melt one tablespoon of the butter and add the mushrooms. Saute with a little salt and pepper until well browned. Add the marsala and reduce any liquid in the pan. Remove the mushrooms and add the onion, sautéing until tender. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Combine the mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme and set aside.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and whisk for about a minute. Ad the milk, cream, broth, lemon juice and nutmeg. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens slightly. Salt and pepper to taste. Note: This will be thinner than a regular cream gravy but it’s all good. The warm pasta will absorb much of the sauce.
Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Mix the pasta with the chicken, mushroom mixture, peas and sauce. Mix the Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Put the chicken mixture in a casserole dish and top with the cheese/breadcrumb mixture.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling.