Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini with Mushrooms and Kale
If you have leftover Thanksgiving turkey, tetrazzini is a perfect way to enjoy it in a whole new way. If there are no leftovers to speak of, it is worth cooking a little extra—even a rotisserie chicken will do. (Conversely, Slow Cooker Turkey Breast or Slow Roasted Whole Chicken are two delicious and easy recipes which will reward you with leftovers!)
This recipe is a bit like lasagna, requiring several steps yet rewarding you with enough food to feed a crowd. Alternatively, you may divide the tetrazzini between two separate dishes; enjoy one now and freeze one for later.
I have remade this dish into a lighter version of the traditional tetrazzini with its deliciously creamy sauce. Olive oil is used in place of butter and 2% milk in lieu of cream. The addition of mushrooms and kale adds color, flavor, and nutrients and makes this a perfect one-dish meal. That said, I personally think a side of peas compliments this recipe quite nicely!
Once you have completed the first step and added the cooked poultry, you have creamed chicken or turkey, which can be a dish unto itself or used in a pot pie or casserole. You may also serve it over pasta, on crusty toast, or in puff pastry shells.
If there’s a way to add greens to a dish, I do! Spinach could be substituted for the kale, but if you are new to this dark leafy green, I encourage you to try it. Kale has come a long way since its days as a tough, bitter garnish. Although a whole bunch of kale may seem like too much, the greens wilt down to a fraction of their original size.
My younger son doesn’t care for the mushrooms, but I never omit them. They are my favorite add-in, so I am only too happy to eat his share!
Once you have completed the first step and added the cooked poultry, you have creamed chicken or turkey, which can be a dish unto itself or used in a pot pie or casserole. In the former option, it may be served over pasta, on crusty toast, or in puff pastry shells. I have created a version that is lighter than most recipes by using olive oil in place of butter and 2% milk in lieu of cream.
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sherry (optional)
- 1 1/2 pounds cooked turkey or chicken (about 4 cups), shredded or cut into bite-size pieces
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or quartered
- 1 small bunch kale, tough stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- 1/3-1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk or stir until smooth, about a minute. Add the chicken broth and stir until smooth again. Pour in the milk, increase the heat to medium, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in the optional sherry and nutmeg, the turkey or chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. (I add about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.)
- In a separate skillet over medium-high heat, cook the mushrooms in the remaining tablespoon olive oil until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped kale, in batches if necessary, and toss until just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the package directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Stir the cooked spaghetti, the reserved cooking liquid, and the mushroom/kale mixture into the turkey mixture and toss until just combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with the almonds and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese is golden brown. You may prepare to the point prior to baking, and then cover and refrigerate. In this case, you will need to add approximately 10 more minutes to the baking time.
This recipe may also be baked in two 9-inch pie plates or two 8-inch square pans. Freeze one for later use, enjoy leftovers later in the week, or surprise a friend with a ready-made meal!
The sherry and nutmeg add great flavor but, if you don’t have them on hand and would not use them in other recipes, there is no need to make a special purchase.
This recipe was shared with Thursday’s Treasure at Chocolate, Chocolate and More Chocolate