Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme add flavor to Turkey Tetrazzini.
I never really got the casserole thing. The texture seemed too cheesy and mushy with too many (at the time) unknown foods. Growing up, one-dish meals never appeared on our dinner table since our family consumed meat and potatoes way too frequently.
So, just recently while my son was in his bedroom doing homework, and I was thinking about what to make for dinner, the contents of my fridge spoke to me. I noticed two kind of mushrooms; plain white and a package of fancy mixed, along with the two leeks that kept staring at me all week every time the crisper drawer opened. Then there was the Simon & Garfunkel moment. PSR&T. I’m thinking Turkey Tetrazzini and making it with herbs so flavorful and light. It was all starting to come together.
Save the making of your casserole for a time when there are other chores/tasks to do around the house, since it is time-consuming. The process is multi-pot, meaning dishes in the sink. Each individual process is easy. Saute vegetables, boil noodles, make sauce and bake casserole. There are rewards in the effort….dinner will be served in 10 minutes. Making a casserole and storing in portion size servings, then freezing those individual packages are perfect for nights when dinner must be ready, pronto!
At first this dish seem dated and could be bland. but making it with skinless turkey breasts, leeks instead of onions and then adding a heavy hand of herbs and using whole wheat curly noodles, seemed to be a more modern answer.
9 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless skinless turkey breasts
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
2 leeks, finely sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leave
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 ounces whole wheat curly egg noodles
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup panko
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a deep large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the turkey with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the turkey to the hot pan and cook until pale golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the turkey to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the turkey into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl.
Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden, about 12 minutes. Add the leeks, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and saute until the leeks are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the turkey.
2. Melt 3 more tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Drain. Add the noodles, sauce, and to the noodle mixture. Toss until the sauce coats the noodles and the mixture is well blended. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Stir the cheese and panko in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodles. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.
4. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25-30 minutes depending on the oven.