Chicken Tetrazzini

The authentic, takes a FULL day in the kitchen, version.

The first time I tasted this recipe, was in the early ‘80’s. The commercial photography agent I worked for, hired a Hungarian caterer for a party we were throwing in the studio.

It was LOVE at first bite!

This recipe isn’t difficult, but you can’t short cut any steps and get the same great flavor. I like to steam the whole chicken the day before, as it makes it easy to skim the fat off the broth, that is the basis for the thick, creamy, roux.

I also love that you can make it ahead – to serve for company.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Fully assembled but not baked …


Italian, Pasta, Poultry


3 pounds frying chicken

2 cups hot water

salt, as suggested

½ pound broad egg noodles

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons grated Italian cheese

½ pound fresh mushrooms — sauteed in butter

bit pepper

several slivers garlic

additonal salt, pepper and cheese


¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup melted butter

1 cup warm milk or cream

2 cups warm chicken stock

 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons dry sauterne or sherry wine


Steam chicken in the 2 cups hot water and 2 teaspoons salt, about 40 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Strain stock for sauce. Remove meat from bones, and cut chicken into pieces about 3 inches long.

Cook noodles in gently boiling unsalted water about 10 minutes or until crisply tender, but not too soft. Then pour a little cold water into utensil and drain noodles thoroughly. Pour noodles into bowl and at once season with 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons melted butter, cheese and 1 cup of Sauce for Chicken Tetrazinni (recipe follows).

Saute mushrooms in the 2 T butter for five minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and slivers of garlic, and continue to cook several minutes.

Pour and spread noodle mixture into a flat, buttered baking dish that measures about 10 × 1 1/3 inches (round or oblong casserole may be used).

Place the sauteed mushrooms over noodles, pour a little of the sauce over mushrooms, then cover with the cut chicken. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little pepper. Pour rest of sauce (that has cooled for about 15 minutes) over chicken and sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup grated Italian cheese and drizzle with 2 T melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot.

Sauce for Tetrazzini:

Blend flour into melted butter; gradually add milk or cream and chicken stock, stirring constantly. Cook until thick and smooth, then simmer 5 minutes, adding salt and wine toward end. Let cool about 15 minutes before pouring over top of chicken. If too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.

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