Have you ever just sat at a table and wondered why we eat what we do and what’s the history of it all. Do you think we are so over obsessed by food because we never take the time to know what’s what? Here’s a dish is super popular especially when it comes to Italian dishes, but do you know why we call chicken tetrazzini—chicken tetrazzini?
According to a crash course by Study Guidelines, Chicken Tetrazzini: it was named for famed Italian opera soprano Luisa Tetrazzini.
Luisa Tetrazzini (1871-1941), called “The Florentine Nightingale,” was a world-renowned opera star who was a favorite of San Francisco audiences. Chefs often named dishes for prestigious clients at their restaurants. You may recall our story in the July issue of GuideLines about the creation by the Palace Hotel of Green Goddess salad dressing, named for a play entitled The Green Goddess when its star, George Arliss, was a guest at the hotel. In other restaurants, Lobster Newberg was first named Lobster Wenberg for Ben Wenberg–until the restaurant had a fight with him and decided to reverse the letters. And Eggs Benedict was named for either Mrs. LeGrand Benedict or Mr. Lemuel Benedict. A great star like Luisa Tetrazzini would have been another such inspiration.
Now that we have a little bit of history on this dish..Let’s eat!
3 cups of boneless,skinless chicken breast cooked and diced into bite size pieces
1 (7-ounce) package spaghetti noodles, broken into thirds and cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced yellow onion, ¼”
3/4 cup diced celery, ¼”
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms, stems removed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (1.6-ounce) packages Alfredo sauce mix
4 cups milk
¼ cup diced red bell peppers, ¼”
½ cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 5-quart stockpot.
Add onion, celery, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Add the Alfredo sauce mix and milk. Cook according to package instructions adding the red bell peppers in the last 2 minutes.
Add the cooked chicken and spaghetti noodles to the sauce. Stir well to combine.
Spray a 3-quart baking dish with oil. Transfer mixture into baking dish.
Mix bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl.
Top chicken tetrazzini with bread crumb mixture.
Bake in preheated 350°F oven 30 minutes.