15 of 52: turkey tetrazzini

well, it was time to use the leftover turkey from easter…yes, we still had it! thankfully it lasted so long and we could finally make turkey tetrazzini.

i searched the internet for a relatively easy recipe, since we are trying to use a lot of the things we have on hand instead of going to the store so much. i had some general ideas about what it should be like as far as ingredients and taste, but honestly the only turkey tetrazzini i can say i had (at least with that name) before this was from a “just add water” camping meal. sad, i know.

the recipe i found was super easy, and honestly just looking at the ingredients, it seemed to lack flavor. that is just not acceptable in the taylor house, so i copied the recipe and sent it to matt with some changes/additions i thought we might make to enhance flavors and hopefully have a wonderful dinner. some of these changes i got from reading reviews of other users, others i just modified based on what we had in the pantry/fridge.

here is the base recipe we used, also, you can find it here with the reviews. see how you might enhance it to your own family’s tastes!

1 16oz package uncooked spaghetti

1/2 C. butter

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

3 C. chicken broth

2 C. milk

1 2/3 C. grated parmesan cheese

4 C. chopped cooked turkey

preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease a baking dish. bring a pot of salted water to a boil. add spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. drain and place in the prepared baking dish. melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. stir in flour. mix in chicken broth and milk. cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. stir in about 1 1/3 cups of parmesan cheese, and remove from heat. mix the chicken broth mixture with spaghetti and turkey. top with remaining parmesan cheese. bake in preheated oven for 1 hour until surface is lightly browned.

now, for the modifications

-we didn’t have as much pasta on hand as the recipe suggests, so already our portions were not going to be exact to the recipe. we had about 8oz of penne pasta leftover from making chicken alfredo, so we used that instead.

-matt chopped up some onion and garlic to saute with the butter before adding in the flour. we used about 6 T. butter, half an medium onion, and one garlic clove. while he was doing that, i cut up the turkey, we probably used about 2 1/2 cups of turkey shredded.

-after that i added in about 1/3 of a cup of flour to the butter/onion/garlic mixture. i didn’t measure this, because i was going more off of how it looked, and, our measurements were already off, so i knew i wouldn’t use as much as the recipe called for.

-next we added the chicken broth and milk. again, didn’t measure, but probably used about 2 C. of broth and 1 C of milk. we had also bought a can of cream of mushroom soup to go into this dish, so we added that as well.

-matt had made the turkey with wonderful seasonings of rosemary and thyme, and to keep the flavors consistent, we added probably a teaspoon each of these plus salt and pepper to the butter/broth mixture. we also threw in some parmesan cheese, maybe 1/2 cup at this step as well

-after some deliberation, we decided that we would probably prefer the recipe to have more of the sauce than to be dry.plus, it is always a tricky balance between ratios of sauce/turkey/pasta, and i was worried that it would be inedible. so, we ended up adding about a 1/2 cup more of the broth and milk. we let the mixture cook and thicken up a little before we added the turkey.

-once we added the turkey, we turned the burner off and waited for our pasta to finish cooking, which ended up being perfectly timed to be just a couple minutes. matt drained the pasta and we added everything together in our large saucepan before transferring it to our favorite baking dish (for some reason, every food we put in that dish looks and tastes SO good!).

-i sprinkled some breadcrumbs and additional parmesan cheese on the top and we put it into the oven for 40 minutes. we served it with a shredded italian cheese combo and crushed red pepper flakes on top. yummy one-dish dinner!

so, obviously this was kind of a loose recipe following. it seemed like we just needed a recipe base to go off of, and then we were able to take it from there (lets face it, that is mostly how i cook anyways, unless it is baking). i think next time it might be yummy to add in some peas or some veggie in there. overall though, it was a really great dish, and i think we were both impressed with how it turned out.

enjoy the pictures by my talented husband!

matt & rachel

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