I should have written this recipe before the carrots, because this is the dish that The Original Redhead planned her birthday meal around. But the carrots were easier. It’s ok, though, this was worth waiting for. I promise.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Ok, actually it was the early 90’s in Tennessee. But it seems long ago and far away.
Anyway, back in the day, whenever one of my friends had a birthday, I absolutely loved cooking for them. So for a couple of years, I’d hand them a few cookbooks, they’d pick a recipe or two and I’d cook and… well, that all sounds cool now that we’re 30. I can’t help but wonder how in the world we came up with the idea when we were 13. Obviously, we were ahead of our time.
Anyway, one unforgettable night, someone picked Chicken Tetrazzini. I’m pretty sure it was The Wee One, and I think it was the same birthday she chose the “Better Than Sex” recipe for her birthday cake. While both dishes have lived on in our memories for different reasons, The Original Redhead picked the chicken for her 30th birthday extravaganza.
I swapped a few veggies around to get a few of her more-favored vegetables in (and a few of her less-favored out). So this might not be a classic recipe.
But man, was it good. And the next morning? It was even better for breakfast.
What? You don’t eat chicken tetrazzini for breakfast? Get a life, man.
8 oz egg noodles, cooked
2 pounds chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1" cubes ( see notes for vegetarian version)
4 Tbsp butter, divided
3 zucchini, cut into 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Orange bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 Green bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup milk
1 can Cream of Celery soup
2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste (for me that's a couple of dashes of salt and plenty of pepper)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet; add vegetables and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, until veggies are beginning to soften.
In another skillet, melt remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Whisk in flour over medium-low heat. Add cream of celery soup and milk, and whisk until smooth. Add mustard, paprika, salt and pepper and whisk some more. Heat until it's just beginning to bubble.
In a large bowl, combine noodles, chicken, veggies and sauce. Pour into an appropriately sized casserole (2 1/2 quarts???).
Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until it looks done.
What, you wanted a scientific end point? Please. I was surrounded by my girlfriends and on my 2nd glass of wine by then.
Note: I made a vegetarian version as well, since The Bestest Friend Ever was there. Mix everything together except chicken - or put in some fake chicken breast strips - and put it in a separate casserole to bake.