Chicken Tetrazzini Au Gratin….yum!

At last, as promised, here is the recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini.   John and I have made this recipe many times over the years, and always have a good time preparing, cooking and of course, eating it!  We were talking the other night about how we’ve come a long way with our cooking talents and knowledge over the 22 years we’ve been married, not only from a skill standpoint, but choice of recipes too.  We laugh now at some of the dishes that we made ‘from scratch,’  like spaghetti & meatballs with a jar of Ragu sauce!  The Chicken Tetrazzini, however, we’ve made since we were first together and we never use anything but fresh, homemade ingredients.   We’ve honed our kitchen techniques over the years, so the total experience from prepping ingredients to cooking to final presentation is more relaxing, rewarding and fun!

The recipe comes from a cookbook called A Treasury of Great Recipes (copyright 1965) compiled by Vincent & Mary Price.  You know, the same Vincent Price from the movies!  He was a great cook too!  He and Mary traveled extensively and this book contains their favorite recipes from restaurants around the world.  The Chicken Tetrazzini is from Sardi’s in New York.  Vincent notes in the book that the Chicken Tetrazzini dish was invented for opera star Luisa Tetrazzini, who lived and sang in the days when calories really didn’t count.  Beware, there is LOTS of butter & cream in this recipe!

John’s mom and dad received the cookbook as a 5th wedding anniversary gift, and John’s mom prepared recipes from it frequently.  She gave it to us when we first met; so not only do we enjoy making the recipes but every time we prepare one of them, we think of her as well.  Mrs. Shaver passed away from breast cancer in 1989.

Mary and Vincent were great hosts as well, and often had a houseful of dinner guests to share their cooking creations with.   The same holds true for John and me; not only do we love the cooking part but we love sharing our dishes with guests.  There is no better feeling than to watch dinner guests eat the meals we’ve cooked and hold their plates out for more!

Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Émincé of Chicken Tetrazzini Au Gratin

  1. In a skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter.  Saute in the butter 1 cup sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 3 cups diced cooked chicken and shake well to distribute chicken and mushrooms evenly.
  3. Add 1/4 cup sherry, stir, and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup supreme sauce (recipe follows), stir well, and add 1/2 cup hot light cream.  Mix all thoroughly.
  5. Simmer slowly for 5 minutes, and stir occasionally, so sauce does not scorch.  Do not let it boil.  Taste for seasoning and add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, if necessary, and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper.
  6. Presentation:  Take an 8-cup buttered casserole or 6 individual buttered baking dishes.  Cover the bottoms with 3 cups cooked spaghetti (cooked according to package directions).  Fill with hot chicken and sauce, and top the large casserole with 3/4 cup hollandaise or top each individual portion with 2 tablespoons hollandaise (recipe follows).  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and brown lightly under broiler.

Supreme Sauce

First, you’ll need to make Chicken Velouté:  into container of an electric blender put 4 tablespoons butter, 6 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 cup cream, and 2 cups hot chicken stock. Cover container and turn motor on low speed.  When blades have reached full momentum, switch motor to high speed and blend for 30 seconds.  Pour into double boiler and cook over simmering water for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  To make the Supreme Sauce, add 1/4 cup cream to 1 cup hot Chicken Velouté.

Hollandaise Sauce

  1. In small saucepan heat:  1 cup butter until very hot, but not brown.
  2. Into container of an electric blender put:  4 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco.  Cover container and turn motor on low speed.  Immediately remove cover and pour in the hot butter in a steady stream.  When all butter is added, turn off motor.
  3. Serve immediately or keep warm by setting container into a saucepan containing 2 inches hot water.  If the sauce becomes too thick to pour when ready to use, return container to blender, add 1 tablespoon hot water, and blend briefly.

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