Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Turkey Tetrazzini Crisp

This week's chef for the Food Networking Chef's Cooking Challenge was George Duran. I chose to make the Turkey Tetrazzini Crisp because I still have leftover turkey from Christmas in the freezer. So, while the recipe calls for ground turkey, I just used cooked/shredded turkey. I cut the recipe in half because I did not need 8-10 servings. Even cut in half, this made quite a lot. Enough for both of us to have a big portion and then 3 lunch portions! I also added mushrooms and green onions, because that's what I do. And I switched from parm to swiss cheese, because I had some grated swiss that I needed to use! I found the cayenne pepper added a bigger kick to it than I had expected. Next time, I would tone it down. It was a bit spicy for me. Overall, we really really enjoyed this recipe and hope you will too.

Turkey Tetrazzini Crisp - adapted from George Duran
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups rotini
3 T butter, divided
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
3-4 green onions, chopped
3-4 cups cooked, shredded turkey
Black pepper
2 T all purpose flour
2 cups milk (he calls for whole milk, but I just used 1%)
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (**I would use less if you are not looking for something with kick)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A dash of sage
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 T butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until it has softened a bit but is still not quite cooked all the way through. (The pasta will absorb the liquid from the sauce as it finishes cooking in the oven.) Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, drain again, and set aside.

Melt 1 T butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms and onions. (This is the step where George has you cooking the ground turkey, so if you are using that, be sure to cook it first!) Cook until browned, but not fully cooked. Season it with a little salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Let the pan cool a bit, then add the remaining butter and melt it over medium heat.

Add the flour and whisk to combine. Whisk constantly until the flour has cooked but not browned, about 2 minutes.

Add the milk slowly, whisking to avoid creating any lumps.

Add the chicken stock, cayenne, and nutmeg and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the sage and season with some salt and pepper.

Fold in the turkey, mushrooms, and pasta, making sure it is all well coated with the sauce.

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan (I did the entire thing in my new handy dandy cast iron grill pan to avoid using unnecessary dishes).

To make the topping, combine the bread crumbs and cheese and moisten with the melted butter.

Spread topping evenly over the tetrazzini.

Put the pan into the oven, and cook until the top is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

A note from George: You can also fill 8 individual greased 10 to 12-ounce ramekins with the tetrazzini and topping. These will bake in about 20 minutes. These can be frozen: Make sure they are cool, then add 1 tablespoon milk, chicken stock, or water to each ramekin. Wrap them well in plastic wrap and put them into the freezer. Poke a hole in the plastic wrap and microwave on defrost for 5 minutes, then microwave on high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the tetrazzini is hot and bubbling.

My adaptation of the recipe makes 4-5 servings. I served with roasted broccoli and a green salad.


  1. Dear Lucy,

    Please stop making me want dinner at 10am.

    Your getting larger by the day blogging friend.

  2. This looks like a great choice for turkey leftovers. I have used cheese as a topping and crumbs as a topping but never together, I wonder why not. This looks like comfort food in all it's creamy glory! Thanks for participating in FNCCC. I love seeing what everyone cooks!

  3. Oooh I'm glad to know that this worked fine with shredded turkey. I think I'm going to try it out with chicken since that's a little more affordable here =D

  4. This would be great to use leftovers from a holiday dinner;-)

  5. That looks really tasty. I considered making this recipe this week but I wasn't sure the hubby would like it (grr).