Fancy Chicken Tetrazzini

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.

I’m bringing my fancy and snobby casserole to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #144, co-hosted by Suzanne @A Pug in the Kitchen and Margy @La Petite Casserole. Enjoy!

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
  1. Turn broiler to high, and set a large pot filled with salted water over high heat to come to a boil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Allow the mixture to cook at just below a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until the chiles have softened.
  6. 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.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the skin and seeds from the roasted poblanos, and cut them into thin strips. Set aside.
  8. Heat oven to 400, preferably on convection.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.
  11. Transfer to a casserole dish, approximately 9 inches by 13 inches, and pour the reserved cheese sauce over it.
  12. 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.
  13. Garnish with chopped parsley, if you like, and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Dark Meat Chicken Chili

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This chili has an incredible rich flavor. The chicken is browned and then braised and both dried and smoked chiles are used instead of chili powder. Not too spicy- just absolutely delicious!!

This recipe was adapted from a dark meat turkey chili in Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I substituted boneless, skinless, chicken thighs for turkey drumsticks and adjusted the cooking times. We ate it with all of the toppings (of course) as well as with cornbread on the side (in Pullman loaf form!). Perfect for any cold day- or for the Super Bowl. 🙂

Yield: 8 Servings

  • 2 guajillo chiles, stems removed
  • 1 ancho chile, stem removed
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, plus 1 Tbsp. adobo
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 12-oz. can Pilsner or other light beer
  • 2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed
  • Lime wedges, sour cream, chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and sliced avocado (for serving)
  1. Toast guajillo and ancho chiles in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing, until darkened in color and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add 1 cup boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Add chipotle chile and adobo to the soaked dried chiles and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Set chile purée aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic to same pot; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, 8–10 minutes.
  5. Mix in cocoa, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until onion is coated and paste begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Add reserved chile purée and bring to boil.
  7. Continue to cook, stirring, until thickened and darkened in color, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add tomatoes, beer, and 4 cups water; season with salt and return chicken to pot. Bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool slightly. Shred meat and return to pot.
  10. Add beans and simmer, adding more water as needed, until meat is beginning to fall apart and beans are very tender, 20 to 30 minutes; season chili with salt.
  11. Serve chili with lime wedges, sour cream, red onion, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Slow-Cooker Thai Red Curry with Chicken

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Red curry is my go-to Thai dish. I order it almost every time we eat at a Thai restaurant. It is spicy with a little bit of sweetness. It’s wonderful!! This version has lovely color from the carrots and red bell pepper as well as a textural contrast from the potatoes. This recipe was adapted from Frontier Natural and The Wanderlust Kitchen. I added more vegetables to the dish, used light coconut milk, and used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts- just my personal preference. We ate it over an organic quinoa and rice blend with warm naan and green salad. Potatoes, rice, AND naan… my starch-loving husband was thrilled! A slow-cooker meal ready after two after-school piano lessons… I was thrilled! 🙂 GREAT!

I have been looking forward to bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday #9 over at The Novice Gardener– she knows how to throw a wonderful party! 🙂

For the red curry sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 2 large shallots or ½ a red onion
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder blend (I used Penzey’s Maharajah Curry Powder)
  • 2-3 dried red chilies (I used 2 dried Guajillo chilies), stemmed, crumbled with seeds intact
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 cups light coconut milk

To complete the dish:

  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Basic red curry sauce (recipe above)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving, optional
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/8 cup Scallions, chopped
  • rice, for serving
  • naan, for serving, if desired

Make the basic red curry sauce:

  1. Heat oil or ghee in a 2-quart sauce pan.
  2. Finely chop garlic, ginger, shallots and bell pepper in a mini-food processor.
  3. Sauté garlic, ginger, diced shallots or onion, and red bell pepper in oil or ghee until tender.
  4. Sprinkle in curry powder, crumbled dried red chilies, lime juice and zest. Stir in coconut milk and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into your slow cooker.

Finish the dish:

  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the grape seed oil in a skillet over very high heat. Once hot, brown half of the chicken pieces for about 30 seconds per side. Transfer browned chicken pieces to the slow cooker, with the curry sauce. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and pan drippings to the slow cooker.
  3. Stir in the turmeric, coriander, fish sauce, and sugar.
  4. Cook on high for 2 hours, or low for 5 hours.
  5. Add the bell pepper, carrots and potatoes. Cook another 30 minutes on high, or for an hour on low. (I cooked it on low for 3 1/2 hours, added the vegetables, and then cooked it on high for 1 hour.) Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  6. Serve over rice with lime wedges for squeezing, if desired. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.

One Year Ago:

Mario Batali’s Chocolate Chicken Mole

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Mole is one of my favorite things in this world to eat. When we lived in Chicago, we would go to a restaurant that served a different type of mole every night of the week- heaven! When I saw Mario Batali make this mole on The Chew, I couldn’t wait to try it. Wonderful!! Yay! My family- especially my son- gobbled it up too. 🙂

The original recipe called for Mexican drinking chocolate, but, after an unsuccessful search for it, I substituted my favorite Trader Joe’s 72% cacao dark chocolate- perfect. According to Mario Batali, the burnt tortilla is very important for the resulting texture and smokiness of the sauce; I charred the corn tortilla on the open flame of my gas range. I also used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for convenience. The sesame seeds provided a contrasting texture in the otherwise smooth sauce. FABULOUS!!

  • 8 Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs or 10-12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 small White Onions (diced)
  • 3 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts
  • 1/4 cup whole Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Corn Tortilla (charred and cut into 8 wedges)
  • 4 large Guajillo; New Mexico; or California Chiles (stems removed)
  • 3 large Dried Mulato or Ancho Chiles (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 3 ounces Mexican Drinking Chocolate or 72% cacao dark chocolate (grated)
  • Cilantro (leaves only; to garnish)
  • Lime Wedges (to garnish)
  • Brown Basmati Rice, for serving
  • Sour Cream, for serving, if desired
  1. In a large dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken deeply on all sides and remove to a plate. Add the onions, garlic, and cinnamon to the pot and cook over medium-low for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, charred tortilla, and chiles. Pour 3 cups of boiling water over the contents of the bowl and steep for 5 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid, remove solids to a food processor, and pulse with just enough water to create a sauce-like paste.
  3. Pour the paste over the onion mixture, and add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces and chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and simmer 2 more minutes. Serve with rice, sour cream, and fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges, if desired.

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