Sunday, April 15, 2012

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini

I wanted to make Chicken Tetrazzini for dinner tonight, but I didn't want to dirty more dishes than I had do (my recipe usually dirties 2 pans and 1 casserole dish). So, I decided I would do it in the crock pot. Never having done this before I wasn't sure the best way to approach it. I knew it wouldn't take that long - actually less time than the traditional casserole. I adjusted the recipe and we had dinner in an hour, with only the crock pot to clean. This version is also healthier because I omitted the rue (flour and butter) and the half-n-half. Nice.
   This is what I did.

I cut up 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast. You can use thighs if that is what you have. Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes.

Then I put them in a SPRAYED crock pot. I learned this one the hard way with another recipe. Always remember to spray the crock pot with no-stick spray before you use it (or use one of those crock pot liners that I never have). It makes a much easier clean up.

Then add 1/2 tsp salt.

1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper.

2 cloves of garlic minced, and 1/2 onion diced.
 I save the rind from my Parmesan cheese. I use them in soups and crock pot meals to add the flavor of Parmesan. If you don't have any rinds, you can add 1/4 cup Parmesan at the end - after it's all cooked so the cheese won't curdle.
 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. (I only needed one juicy lemon.)

1 tsp dry parsley. (Rub it between your hands before you add it.)
3 cups of chicken broth or stock

 You'll need 1 7 oz bag of Fideo pasta, or 1/2 pound of spaghetti broken into small pieces.

 Add 1/2 now and 1/2 in 30 minutes (If you add it all now, they will all become mush. You only want 1/2 to go to mush, to thicken the sauce - no need for the rue.)

 Stir. Put the lid on and cook on high for 1 hour. (Remember to add the other 1/2 of the pasta @ the 30 minute mark.)

When the hour is up, take out the Parmesan rinds and scrape them to get some of the yummy cheesy goodness. Put these scrapings back into the dish. The rinds can go in the trash. - If you don't have rinds, this is when you would add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan.

Then just plate and eat. You can garnish with some fresh herbs if you'd like.
Here's the recipe:

Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini

1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dry parsley
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Parmesan rinds (or 1/4 cup grated Parmesan)
3 cups chicken broth or stock
7 oz bag of Fideo pasta, or 1/2 pound of spaghetti broken into pieces

Spray crock pot with no-stick spray. Add the cut chicken, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, lemon juice, Parmesan rinds (if using grated Parmesan, do not add it now), chicken broth or stock and 1/2 of the pasta. Stir, and cover. Cook on high for 30 minutes. Add the other 1/2 of the pasta, stir and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove rinds and scrape with a fork - add the scrapings back into the dish. (If you are using grated Parmesan, add it now.) Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

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