Normally I wouldn’t be crazy-excited for a casserole recipe at the end of August. To me, most casseroles are the perfect comfort food for crisp fall evenings – not the dog days of summer.
Although I’d make an exception for things like baked ziti, which I could eat weekly throughout the year without feeling like I’m betraying summer menus.
This August has been strange though. We haven’t seen the thermometer pass 90°F in weeks…maybe even a month. This is unheard of in Maryland in August, when it’s normal for the daytime heat and humidity to both rise above 90, and evenings are muggy and oppressive.
Instead, our windows have been open for the past month and nighttime has been near chilly. It’s terrific! Also, the chill in the air means casseroles like homemade chicken tetrazzini sound like a perfect Sunday night dinner.
This recipe mostly follows Giada De Laurentiis’ version of chicken tetrazzini, but has a few tweaks that make it my own. We LOVED it. I’m VERY excited for leftovers to bring to work.
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ cup tart white wine (something you would drink)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 8 ounces fettuccine
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 3 scallions, diced
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- ½ cup panko
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- Preheat your oven to 450°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 2-quart casserole dish with a tablespoon of butter; set it aside.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, then sear them in the nonstick skillet until they're cooked though - 4 minutes per side. Remove them from the pan and set them aside. After 5 minutes, dice the chicken into rough 1-inch cubes and toss them into a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, add another tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute them for 2 minutes. Add the onions, thyme and garlic, and continue to saute them until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it cook down until it's almost gone, about 2 minutes longer. Add the mushroom mixture to the chicken.
- Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in the same pan. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy, then let it cook for another minute longer. Turn the heat up to high, pour in the milk and broth, and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking often. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, and keep whisking until the sauce is thick and bubbly - about 8 minutes.
- While the sauce is coming to a bubble, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook it for 9 minutes. Drain.
- Add the sauce, cooked fettuccine, parsley and scallions to the chicken. Use tongs to toss everything together, making sure the sauce fully coats all the chicken and fettuccine. Dump it into your prepared casserole.
- Mix the panko, Italian seasoning and Parmesan together, and then sprinkle it over the casserole. Dot with the remaining butter and then cook it until it's browned on top and the edges are bubbly - about 20 minutes. Let the chicken tetrazzini rest for 5 minutes before serving.