Monday, July 12, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini ~ Budget Friendly

My sister in law, Suzanne gave me this easy recipe a few years ago and it's become one of my staple stand by dinners. I'll give you the basic recipe as was given to me, but the beauty of this recipe is it's versatility.

Versatility = use what you've got. dress up left overs. save money. stretch a small amount of chicken. waste less. reign as queen of your kitchen.

1 pkg. (7oz.) spaghetti, broken in half (never in my life have I personally met a 7 oz. pkg. of spaghetti... so I use half a typical 1 lb. box... and you can use ziti, rotini, whatever)

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a 2 quart sauce pan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth & bubbly. Add cream and broth, heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Drain Spaghetti. Stir spaghetti and chicken into sauce. Pour into ungreased 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until bubbly in center.

Gourmet, it is not. But cheap it can definitely be, and (at least around here) it's very kid approved. Whenever I bake chicken breast or boil a whole chicken, I save cut up, cooked chicken in my freezer for recipes like this, calling for "cubed cooked chicken". For tonight's dinner, I just defrosted one breaded baked chicken breast which was leftover from last week. The breading tasted just fine (I may even prefer it!) in the tetrazzini. My heavy cream and broth were also remnants from other recipes I recently made. After a few experiments, I've discovered that we like to add extra seasoning along with the salt and pepper. I add a bit of garlic powder and Italian seasoning mix. And I also have learned that our family does not like the full 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. We probably use half of that. And sometimes, I completely leave the cheese off and use bread crumbs to sprinkle on top... you could try crushed potato chips or Ritz crackers. The given recipe makes a perfect amount for our family of 4.75 people. ;) So if yours is larger, you will need to double it.

Let me know if you try it and what spin you put on it yourself!



Jennie said...

This is a staple around here, too....and a real favorite! Just made two pans of this on Saturday! Yummy!

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

no photo!!!