The wonderful history of a simple Noodle, Chicken and Mushroom dish called Chicken Tetrazinni!


The wonders of food!

Part of the wonders of food is learning & experiencing something new.
The meal might be an old familiar friend that brings back happy memories...
or you may achieve an insight into something about the dish that you
 may have not known.

 Chicken Tetrazinni was named after a colorful ... and very
 interesting woman of the early 1900's.
Louisa Tetrazinni 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 performance!
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 downtown!

Our immortality -- say the ancient Egyptians -- is maintained by those who follow us
speaking our name. Although the fabulous meal of 'Chicken Tetrazinni' may
 not do justice to the original artist, maybe it will give us a chance -- as it
did me -- to pause and appreciate the woman for whom the dish was named.

I have endeavored to recreate the best of what has been called:
 


Chicken Tetrazinni
(not to be confused with similarly named dishes of questionable authenticity)

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup - Bread crumbs

Trinity-
1/2 cup diced -- Carrots
1 -  Large Onion
1 bunch – Celery ‘heart’

½ cup - Garlic

1 lb. - Mushrooms

4-5 Chicken breasts & 4-5 thighs

1/2 lb. bacon strips

½ cup White wine or Sherry

Butter/olive oil as needed

1-2 cups - Manufacturer’s whipping cream

¼ tsp -- Nutmeg

4 tsp or more -- Susie Q ( or salt, pepper and garlic powder)

¼ cup -- Parsley
½ tsp – Thyme

½ cup - slivered almonds

1 cup - Parmesan
½ cup - Romano

2 cups - Peas

½ - 1 cup Flour

2 cups - Chicken broth

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 disservice to
 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 Stroganoff
and Chicken Tetrazinni is that one has beef and the other has chicken.

Our recipe -- no doubt -- has more 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!

 

 

Prep Steps:
 


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 evenly.

 
 

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.
 

Cookin’ Steps:
 
 

 

 

 

STEP 1) Pan Fry your chicken in olive oil/butter and season with mixture of salt, pepper
and garlic powder (Susie Q)

 

 

 

 

STEP 2) 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
 to chicken

 

 

 


What most Chicken Tetrazinnis lack:

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 cm or
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
 dispensed.

 


 

 

 

STEP 3) Then add the cooked carrots
 and celery with their juices.

Set aside.
 

RIGHT: chicken, trinity and mushrooms

 

 

 

STEP 4) Make the Roux: butter and flour … add
 manufacturer’s whipping cream, nutmeg,
 salt/pepper/garlic powder (Susie Q Brand
 Seasoning),

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 5) Cook spaghetti, drain (do not run under water) then add butter to noodles, next add mushrooms, peas, parsley to sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 6) 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 of butter

Save the largest amount for the top
 

 

 

 

STEP 8) Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30
minutes until top is a golden brown

aaaaaah... a special treat for pasta lovers!

 

Bon Apetite!
 

The 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 our Chicken Tetrazinni as a 'diet food'!... but as an 'extravagance'... but it's really not too bad... especially for somethnig that tastes this wonderful!

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 positives
and negatives from a
nutritional perspective

 


 

 

Is this a Balanced dish...well.. sort of.
It's not Jenny Craig... but it
never pretended to be...
but it is very tasty!


 

Interesting?

email: roger freberg

I hope you enjoyed our latest 'event!'