Friday, May 2, 2008

Chicken Tetrazzini

I've been slacking on just about everything that doesn't have to do with work this week. I was too lazy to go to the grocery store last Sunday, and I decided it wouldn't hurt to get rid of some of the food we already have in the pantry and in the freezer. That usually translates into casseroles. I had plenty of frozen chicken breast and peas in the freezer, and there's always pasta in the pantry. I figured a chicken tetrazzini would be the perfect lazy shopper recipe:

3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon
1/3 cup AP flour
1 cup half-and-half (or heavy cream)
4 cups milk (either 2% or whole)
1 cup chicken broth
12 oz linguine or spaghetti
1 cup frozen peas
¼ bunch flat-leaf parsley – coarsely chopped
¼ cup breadcrumbs (either fresh or store-bought)
¼ cup parmesan
ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook pasta to al dente.
Cut chicken into cubes and cook over med-high heat till cooked through.
Set pasta and chicken aside while you prepare the sauce.
In a large pan or pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
Once melted, add flour and whisk for 2 minutes.
Whisk in milk, cream, chicken broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened (10 minutes) and whisk often. You will be rewarded with a thick, creamy sauce if you cook the full ten minutes
Combine pasta, chicken, sauce, frozen peas, parsley, and lemon juice.
Move the mixture into an oven-proof dish.
Top casserole with breadcrums and parmesan.
Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

This serves 4-6 people.
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