Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe

This is a HUGE favorite in my house with all the kids and my hubby.  
This makes a lot, but if you have a family of 6 like me, it makes just enough with a little bit of leftovers.  The leftovers are always gone the next day.
I am going to give a few different options on how to make it.

Chicken- 3 breasts or grab a ready made Rotisserie chicken at the store if you're in a hurry
3/4 can of chicken broth (if you boil your chicken you don't need this)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 8 oz. bag of shredded sharp cheese
1/2 cup of onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup of celery (finely chopped)
1 tbsp butter
1 16oz pkg of THIN spaghetti
Secret Ingredient*** Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
Optional :Mushrooms and sliced green olives

Let's get started!
Cooking the chicken:
**Option 1- You can put your chicken in a big pan of water and boil it for 1 hour until the chicken is done.  Take it out and put in a bowl and shred it, set aside for later. You can then grab a cup of that chicken flavored water to use for later.  Save the rest of that water to boil your noodles.
**Option 2- I forgot to take my chicken out of the freezer last night, so this morning I stuck my frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with a cup of water.  Cooked on low for 8 hours - 2 birds, 1 shredded chicken AND chicken broth done.
**Option 3- Shred a cooked rotisserie chicken and use a can of chicken broth later.
Alright, now we are going to saute the veggies.  This is where more options come in.  Because I am making this for the kids AND for us, I do this a little wonky.  I saute my finely diced onions, celery and a little mushroom in butter.  (They are finely diced so the kids can barely see them) I do NOT add my extra mushrooms or green olives yet.  

Next I add my soups and broth (appox 8oz) to my cooked veggies until nicely mixed.  Then I add the entire package of shredded cheese until it becomes a melty goodness.
Here is where we add the chicken, and then the secret ingredient.. Tony's.. greatest seasoning ever!  I sprinkle it on the chicken before I mix it in probably about a teaspoon in all.

At this point (if you used option 1) use the rest of that water to go ahead and boil your noodles.  You might need to add more water.  I cooked my noodles an "al dente" about 6 minutes because I planned on baking my tetrazzini later. 
*** Noodle side note*** You can go ahead and cook your noodles all the way if you are in a hurry, you do not HAVE to bake this dish at the end as everything is cooked when you assemble it.  Many a busy night we have just eaten it right off the stove and it's still VERY good! 
Now that your noodles are cooked and the water is drained..dump that chicken mixture right on in!
Mix it up really well.  I test it and see if I need to add more seasoning.  Remember it's spicy seasoning though, so go light for the kiddos.  My dinner is done, well for the kids....
*** If you're in a hurry you can eat this now! Everything you've added is cooked!

NOW, here is where my other options come in, green olives and extra mushrooms.  I go ahead and put half the mixture I just made, in a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish for the kids.  THEN I add my green olives and extra mushrooms, and some more Tony's to the remaining mixture for the hubby and I.  I then put this into another 8x8 for us.
You can tell ours is on the right with the extra chunkiness.  You can bake like this...but... you might want to top with a little sprinkling of cheese for some extra yum!
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly!
Here it is right out of the oven! YUMM
I hope this will be a new family favorite in your house as it is in mine!

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