Monday, December 26, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini for a Crowd

It's the season for get togethers, family and friends sharing meals. Here's a chicken dinner that comes together in under an hour, and will easily feed about twenty. Add a salad and a side of quickly steamed veggies and you're good to go.


3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, quartered

1 16oz pkg whole wheat spaghetti, broken into 3 inch lengths

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white wine (or use some of the chicken stock)

1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup flour
3-1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup soy creamer
2 tbs fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for grating


1. Place chicken breasts and thighs, along with the quartered onion in a large pot. Cover with water. Heat on high until boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for about 30 minutes. Remove chicken pieces, let cool, and set aside. Strain chicken broth and set aside.
2. Cook spaghetti as directed. Drain and place into a crock pot.
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook onion, garlic and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms give up some of their liquid. Add white wine, or use some of the chicken stock from the cooking chicken, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes more. Remove vegetable mixture from pan and set aside.
4.  Melt the teaspoon of butter and the teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet used to cook the vegetable mixture. Stir in the flour,  then slowly add 4 cups of the reserved chicken stock. (Save the remaining stock for another use. It will keep several days in the refrigerator.) Stir in the nutmeg and paprika and cook for several minutes until thick and bubbly. Add the soy creamer, thyme, parsley and Parmesan and cook for an additional minute, until the creamer is warm and the Parmesan melts.
5. Cut, or shred, the cooled chicken pieces into smallish. Add the chicken to the crock pot. Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken and spaghetti in the crock pot. Mix well.
6. Keep the crockpot on warm until served. Serve with extra Parmesan to grate on top.

Serves 20

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This dish is usually made with cream. Replacing half and half or cream with soy creamer reduces cholesterol to 0 and significantly lowers fat and calories. What's nice about this substitution is that while soy creamer helps bring some traditionally rich dishes back to the healthy range, it still tastes as good as cream when used in a cooked dish. It also acts the same as cream, it thickens a cooked dish like cream and adds a creamy texture. Do add soy creamer at the end of the cooking time, because another way it acts like cream is that it tends to curdle if brought to a boil.

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