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American Main Course Precooked Ingredients Recipes

Chicken Tetrazzini

Pre-cooked chicken, pasta and vegetables are baked in a mushroom cream sauce and topped with cheese.

Opera star inspires top chefs

Don’t let the name fool you, Tetrazzini not really a traditional Italian dish. It was actually conceived by an American chef in honour of a famous prima donna of the early 1900s.

At the height of her career as a sellout draw at opera houses wherever she performed, soprano Luisa Tetrazzini found herself in legal difficulties and blocked from performing under terms of a contract in New York.  She declared,

“I will sing in San Francisco if I have to sing there in the streets, for I know the streets of San Francisco are free.” 

Luisa Tetrazzini

And, so it was, on Christmas Eve 1910, Tetrazzini serenaded an estimated three-hundred thousand San Franciscans on Market Street under clear skies.  The performance was legendary, and her fame helped bring notoriety to this dish.

Opera singer, Luisa Tetrazzini 1871-1940. Photo: Public Domain

A dish fit for a prima donna

Chef Ernest Arbogast is often considered to be the first to introduce this dish at San Francisco’s prestigious Palace Hotel where the opera star was a long-term resident. Naming it Tetrazzini for the beloved coloratura soprano was both a fitting tribute and good marketing. However, this dish’s origins are up for debate. Some sources claim that Turkey Tetrazzini first appeared at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Regardless of which venue first put this dish on their menu, it appears that this native Italian performer knew good food and inspired the best chefs of her day.

Learn more: Tetrazzini: the diva who inspired top chefs

tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

Kevin Lamoureux
This hearty casserole of diced chicken, pasta and vegetables is baked in a mushroom cream cheese sauce and topped with cheese.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 530 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz uncooked pasta (spaghetti, linguini or penne)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ½ red pepper diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushroom
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • cup milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Spray a 13×9 inch (3 quart) glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add the pasta, broccoli and peas. Cook until pasta is tender (about 10 minutes), drain in a colander.
  • Meanwhile, sauté the onions, red pepper in butter until tender. Stir in the mushroom and cook for about a minute.
  • Stir in the condensed soup and gradually stir in the milk and broth.
  • Add the pasta, chicken, thyme, cheese and soup mixture to the baking dish and stir well.
  • Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley and extra parmesan cheese
Keyword casserole, chicken, leftover, tetrazzini

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