I grew up eating frozen Stouffer’s turkey tetrazzini about as regularly as most kids eat peanut butter. That and frozen escalloped chicken and noodles. Both were creamy, hearty, and had this amazing brown crust that almost made you want to skip the rest of the dish. My mother tells a story about one of the first times she cooked for my father, before she really knew how to cook–she bought four or five frozen Stouffer’s dishes, popped them in the oven, and presented them as if she’d made them herself. After they were married and my father asked her to make the dish again, she had to admit that it had come out of a box. I still eat Stouffer’s turkey tetrazzini when I feel the need for comfort food, though it’s never quite as good as I remember it.
When I came across this recipe for chicken tetrazzini, I knew I had to try it. It’s a bit involved, but it baked up beautifully, with plenty of that crunchy crust that I loved so much as a kid. The problem is that it’s so oily and heavy that I doubt I’ll be making it on a regular basis. At the same time, it’s rich and delicious, and if you were to substitute olive oil for half the butter and half-and-half for the cream, I think it might be a little lighter.