June 25, 2022

A la Carte: Chicken Tetrazzini is Lovely for Left-Overs

Lee White

Having a daughter who has taken over my work as a mother can be pretty nifty. When she wants me to go something with her (or even when we are not going together but I mention that I am thinking of doing something alone), she offers to make all the arrangements. 

This time there is a wedding for my late brother’s granddaughter. For me, traveling via plane is hellish: I hate having to get to the airport early and finding a place to park my car (or, worse, staying overnight in a cheap motel or leaving my house at 3 a.m. for a 6 a.m. plane.)

Then there is changing planes and doing the same thing in a few days.

But this time, she really wanted me to go with her, so she got me non-stops to and from Dallas and called to confirm my flight. She even got me priority boarding (maybe because I am old).

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash.

But a week before, I had to think about what I would eat on the plane and during the seven hours until her plane arrived from LA. So, Wednesday I bought a big, fat rotisserie chicken. I used some of it for two dinner salads, and this evening I will make chicken salad on rye (and grapes for grazing) for tomorrow’s flights.

But that leaves me with lots of chicken. What to do?

How about turkey (or, in my case, chicken) tetrazzini. This I made and will save in the freezer for four different “what-to-make” dinners. 

Left-over Chicken Tetrazzini

From Saveur Cooks Authentic American by the editors of Saveur Magazine (Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1998)
Yield: Serves 6

½ pound wide egg noodles
8 tablespoons butter, divided (1 stick)
½ pound white mushrooms, sliced
5 tablespoons flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups turkey or chicken stock (low-sodium, if using canned)
1 ½ cups heavy cream (I use less than that)
1/3 cup dry sherry
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Fresh parsley (optional)

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a medium baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoons butter. 
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Scatter mushrooms over noodles.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in same skillet. Sprinkle in flour, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium, gradually whisk in stock and simmer until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. Add cream, sherry and chicken, then adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Spoon turkey and sauce over noodles, then sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake until sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Heat broiler and brown for 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if you like.

About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant. She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and the Shore Publishing and the Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. She was a resident of Old Lyme for many years but now lives in Groton, Conn. Contact Lee at leeawhite@aol.com.