The wonderful history of a
simple Noodle, Chicken and Mushroom dish called Chicken Tetrazinni!
The wonders of
Part of the wonders of food is learning &
experiencing something new.
The meal might be an old familiar friend that brings back happy
or you may achieve an insight into something about the dish that you
may have not known.
Tetrazinni was named after a colorful ... and very
interesting woman of the early 1900's.
was an enormously
popular opera star during her lifetime. I saw one photograph of her in an outdoor
theater attended by over 100,000 people... standing the entire
During the concert, it was reported that her voice could be heard no matter
where you were
in the audience. I have included a link (above) that provides
for an opportunity
to listen to her around 1911.
After the San Francisco
quake, she provided a
free concert in the rebuilt
Our immortality -- say the ancient Egyptians
is maintained by those who follow us
speaking our name. Although the fabulous meal of 'Chicken
not do justice to the original artist, maybe it will give us a chance --
did me -- to pause and appreciate the woman for whom the dish was
I have endeavored to recreate the best of
what has been called:
(not to be confused with similarly
named dishes of questionable authenticity)
1 cup - Bread
1/2 cup diced -- Carrots
1 - Large Onion
1 bunch – Celery ‘heart’
½ cup -
1 lb. -
breasts & 4-5 thighs
½ cup White
wine or Sherry
oil as needed
1-2 cups -
Manufacturer’s whipping cream
¼ tsp --
4 tsp or more
-- Susie Q ( or salt, pepper and garlic powder)
¼ cup --
½ tsp – Thyme
½ cup - slivered almonds
1 cup -
½ cup - Romano
2 cups - Peas
½ - 1 cup
2 cups -
1 lb. -
Spaghetti, Linguini or Vermicelli Noodles
QUICK NOTE ABOUT THIS RECIPE:
For some reason -- obviously to
save time and money -- the recipe for
Chicken Tetrazinni comes in many short forms that ultimately do a
the the special history and beautiful elegance of the dish. I am
darkly amused that the
only way you can tell the difference in many recipes between Beef
and Chicken Tetrazinni is that one has beef and the other has
Our recipe -- no doubt -- has
ingredients and steps than most --
and maybe I went a bit overboard
-- but I think it is worth it!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
Some folks cut their chicken into cubes or strips after they cook it... but I tend to
think that this gives your slices a bit of a 'rough look'... plus if
you cut before the meat is cooked... your seasoning envelopes the chicken and it cooks more
Remove all fat, skin, bone and excess
'stuff' from your chicken breasts and
thighs... 'season' as you go.
To me, it is easiest to slice chicken while it
is still slightly frozen... the cuts are so clean & even. In
addition, I like to season the chicken one more time and let it
refrigerate over night.
The cubes I
have sliced above will be
sliced again to make them half as 'thick'.
I like to 'mimic' the way the beef strips
appear in a Stroganoff.
STEP 1) Pan
Fry your chicken in olive oil/butter and season with mixture of salt, pepper
and garlic powder (Susie Q)
Sautee your onions and garlic
until clear, add
thyme , add your cooked
chicken then the
white wine or sherry
until it evaporates.
The best sherry
comes from Rioja!
Pan fry your very trimmed
bacon and add
Here is a picture of Mirepoix
or what is often referred to as the "Trinity of French Cooking".
This mixture is a
combination of onions,
carrots and celery cut to a size to reflect the
amount of cooking time that a dish may
require. It is suggested -- as a guideline
that the proportion is 2 parts onion to
one part celery and one part carrots.
The important concept is
that the trinity
is mostly onions... and add to this
garlic and it is wonderful.
Some suggest cutting to 1/2
1/4 inch is best... but the general idea
is that smaller is better than larger in that
the trinity cooks faster and more flavor is
STEP 3) Then
add the cooked carrots
and celery with their juices.
chicken, trinity and mushrooms
the Roux: butter and flour … add
manufacturer’s whipping cream,
salt/pepper/garlic powder (Susie Q Brand
STEP 5) Cook
spaghetti, drain (do not run under water) then add butter to noodles,
mushrooms, peas, parsley to sauce
Pre-butter a deep baking dish and layer noodles with chicken in
sauce and cheese and bread crumb mixture
I endeavor to layer my noodles in the
cooking dish.... as one might do in assembling a lazagna.
STEP 7) Top
each layer with a cheese, bread crumb and slivered
almond mixture mixed
in a small amount
Save the largest amount for the top
at 375 degrees for 20-30
minutes until top is a golden brown
aaaaaah... a special treat for pasta lovers!
three graphs presented on the right
are from Nutrition
Data... which are
merely an estimate... but fun to see.
You didn't expect to see the
Tetrazinni as a 'diet food'!... but as an 'extravagance'... but it's
really not too bad... especially for somethnig that tastes
The real acid test is to see
how it stacks up head-to-head against a real 'diet' plate. Now, I
personally think that Jenny Craig is the best of the diet foods...
so, compared with other 8.5 oz. Jenny Craig items I wondered how
different our 'over-the-top' recipe was?
Here are some of the
and negatives from a
Is this a Balanced
dish...well.. sort of.
It's not Jenny Craig... but it
never pretended to be...
but it is very tasty!