This was unlike any tetrazzini I’ve ever eaten. It was fancy! (for a rotisserie chicken casserole, anyway 😉 ) It’s probably not technically “tetrazzini,” but it was a smoky, full-flavored, and delicious comfort food dish. An upgrade.
The New York Times explained that this dish takes its name from the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. It was once commonly found on menus in upscale restaurants during the early 20th century. (Who knew?) It has since become less fancy (until now!) and less Italian. 🙂 I loved the title of their article, “Chicken Tetrazzini, The Casserole Even Snobs Love.” I love all sorts of casseroles, so I suppose this fact confirms that I’m not a snob. 🙂
This recipe is from The New York Times, adapted from Mississippi chef Brad McDonald, contributed by Sam Sifton. I adapted the recipe further by increasing the garlic and by using mixed dried wild mushrooms as well as whole wheat pasta.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (I used a mixed wild dried mushroom medley including porcini, shiitake, black, & oyster mushrooms)
- 4 medium-size poblano peppers
- 5 dried guajillo chiles, ends snipped and seeds discarded
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade or low-sodium
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium-size shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (I used 3-year aged white Cheddar)
- 1 pound spaghetti, preferably whole wheat
- 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, the meat removed and shredded, approximately 1 pound
- 1 lemon, juiced
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish, optional
- Turn broiler to high, and set a large pot filled with salted water over high heat to come to a boil.
- As oven heats, place the mushrooms in a small bowl, and pour boiling water over them, then leave them to soak for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, then strain and set aside.
- Place the poblanos on a small sheet pan, and set on the highest rack under the broiler so that the skin blackens, turning a few times so that the roasting is even, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When the skin is blackened and blistered all over, place the peppers in a medium bowl, cover it with a plate and allow to rest.
- Make the sauce. Put the dried chiles in a medium pot set over medium-high heat, and allow them to cook until they become fragrant, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, then turn heat to low, and add the chicken stock, milk, garlic and shallots.
- Allow the mixture to cook at just below a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until the chiles have softened.
- Remove from heat, and pour into a blender or Vitamix, then add 6 ounces of the grated Cheddar, and process to a smooth consistency. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, remove the skin and seeds from the roasted poblanos, and cut them into thin strips. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 400, preferably on convection.
- Cook the spaghetti in the boiling salted water in the large pot until just al dente, approximately 9 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until cool, then drain again. (This step prevents the pasta from over cooking in the oven.)
- Return the spaghetti to the cooking pot, and toss it with the roasted pepper strips, the mushrooms, the shredded chicken meat and the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a casserole dish, approximately 9 inches by 13 inches, and pour the reserved cheese sauce over it.
- Cover with the remaining shredded cheese, place in oven and bake until the cheese has melted and started to turn golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, if you like, and serve.
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