After a week of eating beef and lentil soup at almost every meal, I was ready for something new. My love for starchy foods and carbohydrates had me perusing several new italian pasta dishes. Partly because I wanted to use up some of the ingredients I already had on hand, I opted for a chicken tetrazzini.
Part of what I didn’t like about the recipe was how full of fat it was, particularly the amount of butter (9 tablespoons!), whole milk, and heavy cream the recipe called for. It was a heart attack waiting to happen and also because I know heavy dairy is reactive to my body, I decided to cut and substitute certain ingredients with healthier alternatives. I cut the butter out and used 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead. The whole milk and heavy cream was substituted with a 1/2 cup of 1% milk and the white wine with some cooking sherry, which always adds a nice kick to any creamy dish.
I particularly loved how green the vegetable mixture was. The recipe only called for onion, mushroom, and garlic but I’ve been wanting to use up some extra veggies I had in the freezer and for salads. I threw in a chopped red pepper, scallions, and a cup or so of mixed vegetables like green beans, corn, lima beans, and peas. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme and the smell of the vegetable mixture sautéing was heavenly. Lastly, I added in some diced roast chicken and then whisked in the creamy mixture. Because I added in so many extra ingredients, the creamy mixture wasn’t enough. I wanted it to be thick, but not too thick. Luckily, I had an extra can of chicken broth on hand so I doubled the amount the recipe called for and it turned out just fine. Toss with some cooked spaghetti, a little parmesan, and some parsley and you get the final product. I didn’t actually bake it like the recipe called for, but I’m guessing it doesn’t make all that much of a difference.
I guess I didn’t really follow the recipe all that much but that’s what experimenting in the kitchen is all about. I feel like I’m a new person when I cook. I used to follow recipes measurement by measurement and now I just concoct and throw in whatever suits me. The dish really did turn out delicious and it was easy to make – definitely something I’ll put in my mix of recipes. I’m hoping it makes for some great left overs too, especially since there’s enough to feed an army!