This is one of my favorite ways to use up some turkey breast that needs using. The basic recipe is from Joy of Cooking, and I discovered it could have used some salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish the sauce, but other than that, it’s delicious and very comfort-food-decadent, especially when you are me, and you can’t leave well enough alone, and you top it with deep-fried turkey skin strips before you pop it in the oven.
You heard me.
Deep-fried turkey skin strips.
If an Iron Chef can deep fry poultry skin, so can I.
Here is some turkey breast.
Here is some more. This breast is all dressed up for the deep freeze. There’s only so much turkey I can ask The Husband and The Boy to endure all at once. I’ll pull it out in a month or two, and do something marvelous with it.
Here is a mountain of diced turkey breast.
Here is a small hillock of sliced mushrooms.
Here is some pasta, and the turkey skin The Husband dutifully stripped from the bird the day it was roasted. I cut it into thin strips, and tucked it in the refrigerator just for this moment.
Hot oil, meet turkey skin. Let’s party!
Melted butter, meet mushrooms. More partying!
The dish comes together as a rich, creamy white sauce with mushrooms, the turkey and pasta are stirred in, and the whole lovely mess is spooned into a baking dish.
It’s topped with toasted sliced almonds, parmesan cheese, and if you’re me, deep-fried turkey skin strips, and baked in the oven until it’s bubbly and golden brown.
Turkey Tetrazzini – adapted from Joy of Cooking, Becker and Rombauer
8 oz spaghetti, macaroni, or egg noodles
6 tablespoons butter
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
(salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste)
4 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Deep-fried turkey skin, (optional I suppose)
1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until softened. Stir in the flour until well-blended. Slowly add the chicken broth and milk or half-and-half, whisking smooth. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until sauce is thickened and smooth.
4. Mix in the turkey and pasta. (Here’s where a seasoning adjustment would have been good. Salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste. Usually Joy of Cooking recipes are pretty complete, so this caught me off guard. I’ve made this dish a number of times, but I didn’t notice the lack of seasoning until now. Thanks, Test Kitchen Cooking School!) Pour into the prepared baking dish.
5. Sprinkle the top with the almonds, turkey skin (if using), and Parmesan cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden brown, 25-35 minutes.
Oh, this was so good. Creamy, hearty pasta, turkey, and mushrooms, and a great toasty, salty, crunchy bit from the toppings. Of course, it’s not a light, low-calorie dish, but then it is the middle of a long, cold stretch, and there will be plenty of time for salads and small meals in the middle of a long, hot stretch in August, now won’t there?
Eat what feels good right now. There’s room in our lives for a little comfort. I’ll see you soon, somewhere on down the Road.