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Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini

Every year after a holiday involving turkey, my aunt would make Turkey Tetrazzini and she would always invite my mom and I over for dinner because it “made a lot”. Each time, we’d go and I’d eat it, but I never really enjoyed it. It just never appealed to me, and I can only speculate on why. It had nothing to do with my aunt’s cooking – she’s a fabulous cook, and many of my recipes come from her. The recipe called for tinned mushrooms, and I’m just not a huge fan of mushrooms. Maybe it was the mushrooms that turned me off, I don’t know.

I was flipping through my Betty Crocker Cookbook and I came across the Chicken Tetrazzini recipe, which as far as I can tell is the same recipe my aunt always uses. A lot of my family recipes as it turns out have come straight out of Betty. That’s not a bad thing, it just shows to me that Betty’s recipes really are good. I decided there had to be a way to make this taste good to me, so I set about changing a few things to make it taste better and to make it healthier. The first thing I did was swap out those mushrooms for peas!

So here’s my take on this Betty Crocker classic.

You will need:

200g whole wheat spaghetti, broken into quarters
2 TBS butter
30g whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
230ml chicken broth or stock
230ml milk
3 TBS red wine
225g cooked cut-up chicken
110g frozen peas
50g Parmesan cheese
50g bread crumbs

Dutch oven

Preheat oven to 175C. Cook pasta according to directions on packet.
In the Dutch oven, melt butter over low heat (if you don’t have a dutch oven, you will need a regular sauce pan and a casserole dish).
Stir in flour, salt, and pepper and cook until smooth.
Add broth and milk, bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Sauce will be creamy and thick.
Drain pasta and add to dutch oven along with chicken, peas, and red wine. Stir until coated in sauce. If you don’t have a dutch oven, transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.
Combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and sprinkle over top of dish.
Place uncovered in oven and bake 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Check your dish after about 20 minutes. If the cheese on top is starting to burn, put the lid on.

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