Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Friday, February 5, 2010

John Suter's Chicken Tetrazzini

Luisa Tettrazini
Sometime you fear something special has been lost. This was my fear since I hadn't seen this recipe in quite a long time. This was a recipe written down by my husband's teacher, mentor and friend, John Suter. John was one of those people you always wish you could have met. He was of that generation of artists who lived well, laughed much, and seemed to know everyone.

This recipe typed on his stationery has been one of Michael's treasured memories of John. We've only made this dish once since we've been together and it was for a small dinner party at our home in South Carolina when we hosted my brother and his partner as well as his partner's stepmother and father. It was a lovely evening made even more so by this wonderful dish.

Be prepared, this makes quite a lot so either have lots of people invited or be prepared for leftovers for quite some time!

By the way, do you know the story of Chicken Tetrazzini? The story goes that it is named for Luisa Tetrazzini who was an Italian coloratura soprano in the early 20th Century. The dish Chicken Tetrazzini originated in San Francisco where she resided for a long time and was quite popular with the patrons of the San Francisco Opera House. The fable goes that she loved the dish so much that she would eat hardly anything else.

John Suter's Original Recipe
Regardless, it seems an entirely appropriate recipe for a piano teacher and coach to write down and pass on to his friend and student who not only studied piano but was an accomplished operatic tenor as well.

So, here we go, Chicken Tetrazzini transcribed directly from John Suter's recipe. The recipe calls for spaghetti but if I remember correctly, we substituted linguine. I think either would work fine.

(I promise to be back to sweets shortly!)

1 6-lb. chicken boiled until tender

In a large heavy kettle melt one stick of butter.
In the butter saute one large-bell-pepper-finely chopped.

3 small cans sliced or chopped mushrooms, drained.
4 teaspoons pimento pepper
Salt and pepper - to taste.
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcester powder - I use sauce.
3 tablespoons pre-sifted flour.
1/2 cup sherry wine
2 10 1/2 ounce cans cream of mushroom soup - heated
2 cups milk at room temperature
Whisper of garlic powder
4 cups shredded American cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb. spaghetti - cooked in the chicken broth.
4 to 6 cups cooked chicken cut bite size

Pour the mixed ingredients into a large baking dish. Top with slivered almonds and button mushrooms. Bake in oven preheated to 250 degrees for about 45 minutes.


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