Monday, December 20, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

This creamy scrumptiousness was first introduced to me in my early teens by my sister Rosanna. She married when I was 13 years old and up to that point I had led a carefree life outdoors under the summer sun, and in the winter we had a lovely hill behind our house... I'm not sure why I always look at her wedding and say that's when I learned what it means to work. It's not that I was lazy, it's just that I had 4 (I have 5 now, but that's another story ☺) sisters all older than me and somehow I had escaped hard work up to that point. (I made up for it later after they were all married.) Anyway, after she married they moved about a mile up the road from us onto a farm and I loved going there and helping my brother-in-law in the fields, or mow their yard, and later take care of my niece when she was born. Rosanna was a terrific cook (still is) and there was always something delicious around to eat. This was one of those dishes that I always looked forward to.

It is easy and simple and not real time consuming.

8 oz. angel hair spaghetti
2½ quarts water
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 (10½ oz) can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. Velveeta Cheese
3 cups cooked, deboned chicken pieces

Cracker Crumbs:
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
5 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bring water and salt to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan.

Break angel hair spaghetti in half and drop into boiling water. Give it a stir so it doesn't stick together in big lumps.

Cook, uncovered, according to package directions. Drain.

Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with olive oil spray, transfer spaghetti into prepared dish and smooth into an even layer.

If you are using canned chicken, drain it and spread over top of the noodles in an even layer.

Melt butter and add onion.

Saute' until tender. Add flour and stir.

In a separate bowl combine chicken broth, milk, and cream of chicken soup.
Whisk until smooth.
Add to the butter, flour , and onion mixture in  saute' pan.

Whisk until smooth.

Add Velveeta in slices or shred it if you are in a hurry. Melt slowly over low to medium heat.
When the cheese is completely melted, pour over chicken and noodles.

Stir gently to help the liquid get all the way through. It might look a little soupy but it will be fine once it is baked.

Bake uncovered at 375° until bubbly around the edges. About 30 to 45 minutes. This can be prepared ahead of time and cooled before baking if that is what fits your schedule. If it goes from the refrigerator to the oven you might need an hour.

Meanwhile crush Ritz crackers and put them into a small bowl.
Add parsley flakes.
Mix together with your hand.

Melt butter and pour over cracker crumbs.

Mix together with a fork or your fingers until well combined and all the crumbs are wet.

About 10 minutes before it's done baking spread the buttered cracker crumbs on top. (If I am taking this to a potluck I put the crumbs on a baking sheet and toast them at 350° until they are golden. Then I take them along in a seperate container and spread them on top right before serving, this way they are nice and crispy and not soggy.)

Bake until they are golden. Remove from oven and let set for about 5 minutes before serving.

Wonderful comfort food for a chilly evening!

Be Blessed!

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