It's been cold in New England and after a long day of work, we want to make something that is quick, delicious and in one dish. These "one dish wonders" are great for dinner and they are great crowd pleasers when you need a dish for a gathering or event. Our last post, Victory Casserole, was a wonderful example of a versatile one dish meal.
After Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had extra turkey which we used to make Turkey Pot Pie and Southwestern Turkey and Wild Rice Soup. As much as we have made Turkey Tetrazzini a few times, we couldn't get past how dry the tetrazzini became as it baked. There was either too much pasta or too little sauce. We decided to look for a new recipe and came across this one from Cook's Illustrated. It's was a delicious version of Turkey Tetrazzini which we now enjoy making. We especially love this recipe for three reasons:
1. The dish was very moist and flavorful (plenty of sauce). Many times there is too much pasta and not enough sauce, ending with a dry Turkey Tetrazzini.
2. It doesn't use cream, but it does use a bit of butter. It had lots of flavor without the heaviness.
3. The bread crumb topping was perfect to add flavor and keep the dish from drying out.
The Tetrazzini was amazing. The sherry and chicken stock complemented the turkey and mushrooms. It was creamy but not overly rich. You actually don't mind going for seconds...or packaging what's left for the following day. For me, I think it tastes better the second day!
I know that everyone struggles getting meals on the table during the week. An easy to make, one dish recipe makes life so much easier. If you don't have any turkey left-overs, a store bought rotisserie turkey breast can work just as well and within an hour you can have this dish in the oven baking with 15 minutes to spare.
Ingredients for Turkey Tetrazzini (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1-1/2 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
9 tablespoons of butter, plus extra for baking dish
8 ounces of white mushrooms, sliced thin
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3/4 pound of spaghetti or other long-strand pasta, broken in half
6 tablespoons of flour
3 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup of dry sherry
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of minced fresh thyme leaves
2 cups of frozen peas
4 cups of leftover cooked boneless turkey meat or chicken meat, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, mix the 3 topping ingredients and put aside. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute onions and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter until soft, about 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Boil spaghetti to al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of water and drain. Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon of butter.
3. Make a roux with the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and flour and cook until golden about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock and cook over medium high until thickened.
4. Remove from heat and add the sherry, cheese, nutmeg, lemon juice and thyme. Add peas, mushrooms and onions, spaghetti and turkey.
5. Place in a slightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake 13-15 minutes until bubbly.
Written by Tricia White