This dish, while Italian sounding, is an all-American dish said to have been invented circa 1908-1910 by Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California and named after the Italian Opera singer, Luisa Tetrazzini who was a long time resident of the hotel. Although I'm thinking my first use probably included some leftover chicken, over the years it has become a mainstay in our small library of 'after Thanksgiving leftover dishes.' A very small library; there is this fantastic casserole and a turkey sandwich with cream cheese and cranberry sauce that goes far beyond the convention of just putting everything from the Thanksgiving feast on a bun. While I do love the Maple and Bacon Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing that I posted recently, sometimes I think it's this leftover that I love even more.
Though with a few more ingredients than that original recipe, we think the best Turkey Tetrazzini has mushrooms, bacon, garlic and herbs. Originally envisioned as a casserole with a sherry flavored white sauce that combines pasta, poultry, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese I've taken to adding more components over the years. The addition of garlic, bacon and herbs? Do I really need a reason for adding them? That's what I thought...sure boosts the flavor profile of a dish that I've had too often and could only describe as bland.
Peas? No, they are not essential but they are the one vegetable that I always make for our Thanksgiving Day feast because they are simple and colorful and I've usually got some leftovers in the fridge. One year they were added to this dish 'just because' and they've since earned their place as a regular.
This year, in conjunction with this dish, I'm so pleased to announce my new partnership with Swanson as a Brand Ambassador. Ours is the perfect marriage; their product is something that is a mainstay in my kitchen pantry. You might think, as someone who prides herself on all things homemade, that after a feast including turkey which guarantees a big carcass with a fair amount of meat that I might be showing you my secret to making broth. There is no secret; I simply never make it. The truth is that once I go to the trouble of slow cooking the carcass and wings with the trifecta of onions, carrots and celery that I could never just strain that magic potion and save it for stock...I always go full steam ahead and make Turkey and Dumpling Soup. Instead of homemade I use from my ready supply of Swanson Chicken Broth that is always in my pantry (I do shop Costco so you know what I mean by ready supply right?). I'm not alone; both chefs and home cooks alike know what a great resource Swanson broth is; you simply cannot beat the convenience or the taste!
This month's theme for my first Swanson post is 'Give Thanks for Leftovers' and it provided me with the perfect opportunity to do just that with this recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini. Swanson Certified Organic Chicken Broth is a big component and adds great additional flavor to this turkey dish. Once the bacon and aromatics are finished cooking and the mushrooms and turkey are added to the mix, the sauce that is added includes half and half, chicken broth, sherry, and Parmesan cheese in a rich and flavorful combination that is sublime. Top it all with a panko bread crumb and Parmesan cheese mixture for crunch and I could eat it every day until it's gone. Wait...I DID eat it every single day until it was gone!
Serving leftovers more than once like we do? One tip I'll share that I think makes a huge difference. Prior to reheating, even in the microwave, drizzle a bit more Swanson chicken broth on top of the dish. Repeated warmings will dry any dish out and this will insure a rich and creamy result each and every time.
I hope everyone has a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday; making this dish after the holiday might just help that glow last even longer.