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Sunday, February 8, 2015

The BEST Chicken Tetrazzini

Do I dare say I'd eat this meal once a week?  So good! 
Creamy and comforting, a real take on the classic.
Growing up my dad was our small town's middle school principal.  He is now retired, but worked in the school system for 30+ years.  Now having your dad as your middle school principal has its advantages and disadvantages.
Keep in mind, I was a good kid.  Even the thought of getting in trouble gave me a stomach ache back then {and still does today}.  So, thankfully I was never sent "to the principal's office", but I do remember sauntering in there like I owned the place.  His secretaries were the friendliest around {and still are} and unlike other kids me being in there was the norm.
I remember him having a huge stash of candy bars in the back closet.  Somehow it was his job to buy them at Sam's Club for the concession stand {I remember those trips}, and this was also the early 90's before computers were really hot, so I don't remember one in his office at all.
One of the GREAT things about having your dad as principal was money was always available.  A day didn't pass when I didn't ask him for a $1 to get a treat at lunch.  He never said no.  Looking back I wonder why?
And as the principal I rarely remember him eating lunch.  He was always in the lunchroom with us, but rarely eating.
Unless it is was chicken tetrazzini day.  For some reason he loved this meal.  I don't remember my mom making it at home, so it might be the only place he ever got it! 
Now, no offense to the lunch ladies, as they made some great meals, but I think my version is much better.
First, it has bacon.
Second, it has a homemade cream sauce.
Third, well it is just better.

I often wonder if my dad still likes this dish.  Mom?  If you are reading this, you should make it for him.  It won't taste like the school version, but I think he'll like it.
So anyway, that is how I grew up to know chicken tetrazzini.  I don't even know what in the heck 'tetrazzini' means, but I am going to continue on the tradition of making it.
Does anyone know what it means?
I really could go on and on about this dish.  It's creamy, yet light, and has a sharpness from the Parmesan cheese and bacon.
And it's healthy because it contains peas.

I ate this dish for three meals in a row.  Not breakfast, but dinner, lunch the next day and lunch the next day after that.  It's pretty darn good cold straight out of the fridge too! 
Yes, I snagged a bit before reheating.

Really, I cannot recommend this dish enough.  Clearly, one of our new favorites.  I'm wondering if it would freeze well too?  If someone tries that, please let me know if it works.

Until then, put this in your meal rotation!

The BEST Chicken Tetrazzini
Print this Recipe!

8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta
5 T. unsalted butter
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/3 c. flour
3 c. chicken stock
4 c. shredded chicken
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 t. garlic powder

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and mix with 2 T. of the butter.  Place pasta in a 9x13 greased baking dish.
3.  In a large skillet or pot cook bacon over medium-high heat.  When crisp remove the bacon from the pan, but keep the drippings.  Add mushrooms and onion, cooking until onions are translucent.  Remove from the pan.
4.  In that same pan, adding remaining butter and sprinkle in flour, stirring on the heat for a couple minutes.  Gradually whisk in broth, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Continue stirring for 4-5 minutes or until thickened.  Add in the chicken, peas and cooked mushrooms/onions.
5.  Pour this mixture over the pasta.  Sprinkle with bacon and Parmesan cheese.
6.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.


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  1. This post and the story that goes along with it makes me smile:) This recipe looks like something we'd love.

  2. This recipe sounds fantastic!!!! Great family meal too!

  3. Looks good. I really like the use of smaller, spaghetti noodles for this recipe.

  4. This looks delicious, I can't wait to try it!

  5. Oh this looks wonderful and sounds so, so good! xo, Catherine

  6. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)February 9, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    I don't think I've ever had chicken tetrazzini before - crazy hey!!??

  7. This looks like a wonderful meal that my family would really enjoy.

  8. Yum! This looks awesome! I bet it would make a great meal to take to a new Mom. Thanks for your great recipes! I follow you on Instagram @jennifercdean. I'm headed to Pinterest now to start following!

  9. You're right, a great meal for a new mom! Thanks for following!

  10. My Dad once made turkey tetrazzini when my Mom was on a business trip. I came home from work and the kitchen smelled heavily of sherry. I asked what that smell was and my Dad said the recipe called for sherry. Well, we both took one bite and spit it out - um, turns out the recipe called for 1 tablespoon of sherry and my Dad used a whole cup! Needless to say, we ordered pizza!