I just started a new job. My new firm is based in the DC area and since I’m based in the Bay Area that means more travel for yours truly. I’m spending my first two weeks on the job out in DC at what I am sure will be a simply spectacular Residence Inn. Not sure you will be getting too much cooking out of me while I am there, so hopefully I can round up some more guest bloggers to keep you all satiated while I’m away.
With this long trip looming ahead I’ve been feeling very homey. This led me to make tuna noodle casserole a couple weeks ago, a spectacular dish that had husband and I fighting over the last morsels. So I decided to embrace my 50s era casserole cooking theme and try my hand at Chicken Tetrazzini, which is essentially tuna noodle casserole except there’s chicken involved. I added a few other things here and there (one of which being chopped asparagus because I have been swimming in asparagus) and it was fabulous! Best of all, I made two trays of it, one of which I froze so husband doesn’t starve while I’m away. :-)
Chicken Tetrazzini a la Girl and Her Kitchen
(Adapted from Giada, Martha and Myself)
1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 c thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; from about 2 large leeks; wash well)
1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced thick (or more to your liking)
1/4 tsp celery seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 c all purpose flour
2 1/4 c 2% milk
1/2 c half and half
1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 c white wine
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, from one juicy lemon
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp good Dijon mustard
1/3 c sour cream
8-1 oz wide egg noodles (I used whole wheat, but you use what you like. If you like your casserole more noodle-y, use the 12 oz, if not, go for 8oz.)
2 c coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 5 ounces)
1/2 c parmesan, grated
1/4 c pecorino, grated
1 c frozen peas (or more to your liking)
1 c chopped asparagus, blanched (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups coarsely crushed salted potato chips (about 2 ounces) (optional)
Butter 9x13inch glass baking dish. Melt unsalted butter in a large heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and celery seeds to saucepan; sprinkle lightly with coarse kosher salt. Cover saucepan and cook until 4 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir. Recover and cook another 4 minutes until leeks are tender but not brown, stirring often. Add wine and simmer 2 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute.
Meanwhile, cook egg noodles for 5 minutes in large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles, reserving 1/2 cup noodle cooking liquid. Transfer noodles to large bowl. Pour leek and mushroom sauce over noodles, add in peas and sour cream and stir to blend; add reserved noodle cooking liquid if needed by tablespoons until mixture is moist and creamy (1-4 tbsp). Fold in chicken. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with the other ¼ c parmesan.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake noodle casserole, covered with foil, until heated through, about 20 minutes if freshly made or 40 minutes if chilled. Remove foil. Sprinkle crushed potato chips (if using) over and continue to bake, uncovered, until top is golden brown and filling bubbles, about 10-15 minutes longer (you may need more time if chilled previously so check the center for warmth). Serve hot.