“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does” ~ William James
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You have two hours until your husband walks through the door .. after a few days away
Two hours to try on and reject all of your bathing suits (the pool at the gym will have to wait)
Two hours to reach laundry zero (an ongoing quest)
Two hours to call the repairman because your washer sounds like a run-away freight train
Instead, you move the food processor to the right side of the kitchen counter and plug it in.
Two hours to go for a walk (how can it be!? sixty degrees + Iowa + February?)
Two hours to call your mother .. will you fact-check an old memory?
Two hours to wonder where Harry + Sally hid all of your clean socks and underwear
Two hours to call your oldest grandson .. a heart-melting series of texts with “i love yous” spelled funny ways
You brown the butter and sau·té the mushrooms until they smell just right
Two hours to write down great advice offered by a neighbor
Two hours to flag recipes from the cookbooks you borrowed from the library
Two hours to schedule the weekend get-away you both so desperately need
Two hours to send a thank-you card to the person who's trained both you and your dogs
You gather spaghetti and truffle oil (you knew it would come in handy someday)
Two hours to pick the next book you'd like to read
Two hours to decide where to celebrate a birthday (day spa required)
Two hours to go to the co-op and stock up on your latest obsessions .. soup and grapefruit (not necessarily eaten together)
You whisk the roux .. worrying as you always do .. that it's going to burn
Two hours to find the pancake recipe you tweaked over the past few months and then lost .. somewhere in the stack of catalogs teetering precariously on the coffee table.
Two hours to wonder how buying a few pieces of furniture last summer could have landed you on so many catalog lists
Two hours to tend to the sourdough starter on the kitchen counter (are you really committed to another entity that needs to be fed and cared for?)
You toss and swirl everything together with your messy .. sauce-covered hands
Two hours to meditate
Two hours to get ready for this weekend's visit to see your second-oldest grandson
Two hours to clean up a messy kitchen before you need to start cooking the next meal
You fill the baking dishes .. realizing you'll be feeding the neighbors tonight as well
Two hours to snuggle with a kitty on the sofa
Two hours to go to yoga and find some zen
Two hours to stop at the Asian grocery to see if they have the last few ingredients for the soup you've been wanting to make. Wondering where your tipping point is between paying more on Amazon or searching store to store
You sprinkle with parmesan-specked bread crumbs .. always debating whether you've put on too much.
Two hours to take a shower and put on something other than your workout clothes
Two hours to crawl into bed and take a nap
The puppies come bounding in the front door .. your husband a close second. Everybody ready for a hug and a kiss and some extra snuggles. Ready for something hot and bubbly for dinner. Ready to see you
Two hours to pour a glass of vino .. turn on some tunes and enjoy the moment
Two hours to remember who you are .. and why you're so very happy to be here
Chicken Tetrazzini .. a retro casserole that's hearty .. humble and delicious. The stuff of church potlucks and weeknight casseroles are made of. Named after an Italian opera star .. it's been a favorite since its invention either in New York or San Francisco in the early 1900s.
Cooks like to make it because it’s inexpensive and easy to throw together. Kids love it to eat it because it marries two of the world’s most kid-friendly ingredients .. spaghetti and chicken
This version adapted from Gourmet gives the dish a modern spin with truffle butter (or oil) .. sherry .. and greek yogurt. The result a delightful dish with a gourmet flare
Variety of mushrooms .. store-bought chicken stock .. small pinch of nutmeg at the end .. toss the pasta in truffle oil after cooking while finished the sauce
A few notes about the recipe
The original calls for making your own chicken stock (and I've included it here). Certainly homemade would be utopia .. but for a busier weeknight .. store-bought is still just as great.
Can't find truffle butter? Most stores sell truffle oil and it tastes equally as good
~ Adapted from Gourmet | November 2003
- Homemade Chicken Stock (optional)
- (** Making homemade chicken stock is optional .. see recipe notes above. If you decide not to, you'll need 2 cups of store-bought)
- 1 to 1½ pound chicken bones (from 2 cooked chickens), broken into 2- to 3-inch pieces
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- 1 Turkish or ½ California bay leaf
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (or boneless chicken thighs)
- ¾ stick (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, divided
- ¾ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (if you are able, a variety of mushrooms makes it a little more interesting)
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- fine grain sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp flour (any kind is good)
- 2 cups chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
- 1¼ cup greek yogurt (the original called for heavy cream)
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp truffle butter or a few drops of truffle oil (optional)
- 8-10 oz linguini
- ¾ frozen peas
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a shallow baking dish (~ 3 quart in size, or an equivalent)
- Homemade Chicken Stock (optional)
- Bring chicken bones, broth, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, and cloves to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan
- Simmer, partially covered, skimming froth ~ 30 minutes
- Pour stock through a large sieve into a bowl, discarding solids, and return to saucepan.
- Measure stock: If more than 2 cups, boil until reduced.
- Keep warm, covered
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil
- Sprinkle the chicken with a pinch of sea salt and a grind of black pepper
- Add the chicken and cook until pale golden and just cooked through (~ 4 minutes per side)
- Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly.
- Coarsely shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl
- Mushrooms and Onions
- In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbsp butter
- Add the mushrooms, along with a pinch of sea salt and a grind of black pepper
- Sauté until the liquid given off by the mushrooms has evaporated and they've begun to turn golden ( ~ 8 - 10 minutes)
- Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until the onion is translucent (~ 5 - 8 minutes)
- Add the wine and simmer until it has evaporated (~ 3 - 5 minutes)
- Transfer the mushroom/onion mix to the bowl with the chicken
- To the same pan over medium-low heat, melt the additional 3 Tbsp butter
- Add the flour and whisk for 2-3 minutes
- Whisk in stock, greek yogurt, white wine, another pinch of sea salt and a grind of black pepper.
- Bring to a slow boil
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened slightly (~ about 10 minutes)
- Stir in truffle butter or oil, if using
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the linguine and cook according to the package directions, until it's al dente
- Drain well
- Add the linguine, sauce, peas, and parsley to the chicken mix.
- Toss until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well blended
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the cheese and breadcrumbs
- Sprinkle over the pasta.
- Bake until sauce is bubbly and the top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes
- Serve immediately