Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Tetrazinni

1 T canola oil
Cooking spray
1 c onion, finely chopped
2/3 c celery, finely chopped
1 t black pepper
3/4 t salt
16 oz sliced mushrooms, chopped
1/2 c sherry
2/3 c flour
3 cans chicken broth
4 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 lb pasta, uncooked (vermicelli or spaghetti)
4 c chicken, cooked and chopped
1 slice bread or 1/2 c oyster crackers

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Pour into a colander to drain. Run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking process.
2. Put canola oil in a stock pot. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms. Saute` approximately 4 minutes (until mushrooms are tender).





3. Add sherry. Cook 1 minute.
4. Gradually add flour. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. It will be a thick mixture.
5. Gradually add broth. Stir constantly. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.

6. Add cream cheese. Stir until chees melts.




7. Add cooked pasta and chicken. Stir until blended.








8. Coat 2 baking dishes (8x8) with cooking spray or shortening. I will sometimes use a third baking dish because we are a small family. I freeze 2 and bake one for supper.
9. Put the bread in a food processor and pulse until bread crumbs form or put crackers into a plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the pasta mixture.



10. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let it sit about 10 minutes before serving. If using 2 pans (8x8), each will yield 6 servings.

TO FREEZE:
Complete steps 1-9. Cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap. Mold the plastic wrap to the pan and contents to remove air pockets. Wrap in aluminum foil and label. Place in freezer for up to 2 months.

PREPARING FROZEN CASSEROLE
Thaw the casserole in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove foil (reserve) and plastic wrap (discard). Cover the casserole with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered approximately 1 hour or until bubbly. Let it sit about 10 minutes before serving.

COMMENTS:
1.Chicken tetrazinni is an splendid potluck casserole. It is an excellent choice to use as a carry-in main dish for a sick or housebound person. Even though it is best when served medium warm, chicken tetrazinni is still tasty if it is a bit cooler. My husband enjoys snacking on cold leftovers taken directly out of the refrigerator.
2. This recipe takes some time and causes some kitchen mess, but it is worth the effort because I have a great main dish for supper and I generally freeze two batches for easy meals when my busy schedule means I don't have time to cook.
3. Because it can be made ahead of time, this is a great dish to use when having friends over for supper.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25  NIV

GIVING CREDIT
This is my variation of a recipe taken from page 51 in Cooking Light: Annual Recipes 2004.

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