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Chicken Tetrazzini

Pollo Tetrazzini


Do you remember classic chicken Tetrazzini? This casserole, combines cooked chicken with mushrooms, spaghetti and a velvet cream sauce, and was popular in the 1950's but seems to have disappeared. It was created by a chef in honor of Luisa Tetrazzini, the Italian opera star whose role as Violetta in La Traviata, made her a star; she could hit high notes like no one else in her day (1871-1940).


5 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil

1 pound sliced button or oyster mushrooms

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups hot chicken broth

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup non fat half/half or heavy cream

Salt to taste

Grinding black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 pound cooked spaghetti

3 cups diced cooked chicken

2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Preheat the oven to 325F.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil in a large stove top casserole dish or saute pan. Cook the mushrooms over medium heat until they soften. Transfer them to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Melt the remaining butter in the same pan and whisk in the flour to make a smooth paste. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and cook whisking constantly until the mixture just begins to thicken. Whisk in the half/half or cream and continue whisking until the sauce thickens; stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Mix the spaghetti, chicken, and mushrooms into the sauce.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is nicely browned.

This recipe is featured in show 1709 — Two Classic Casseroles.


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