Sunday, 11 December 2011

Cheese-baked Chicken and Mushroom Noodles

Or, if you like your names shorter and with a touch of the foreign, "Chicken Tetrazzini". I made this and similar dishes very often while I lived by myself, because they're both absolutely simple, and unfailingly divine. Of course, few things are capable of mediocrity when baked crispy-gold, swimming in hot, melted cheese. Therefore, it is a testment to my culinary genius that I remembered to stock up on cheese every time we had intimations of a snowstorm.

Because this is just perfect for kitchen-lazy souls on chilly, windy, freezing nights. No contest. And so you can try it yourself, here's the picture-book.

 First, dice mushrooms of your favourite variety.

 Thaw the cheese (this is mild cheddar. My hometown hasn't much variety I can afford).

Toss in tinily-diced chicken (marinated in lemon juice and salt for an hour, if you like) and mushrooms in butter or cooking oil. I usually flavour this with ground black pepper, a touch of sugar, salt, parsely, but feel free to experiment.

Next, some deeelicious fresh/heavy/sour cream. Simmer and scrape up the pan-drippings. Scraped drippings are my secret ingredients.

 
One more step to go! Add some of the softended cheese to the simmering sauce. Fold it in well. Taste for the right salt/pepper/sugar/herb balance.
 
Pour the sauce over cooked and drained noodles (I just some leftover macaroni). 

You can see the base of the baking dish peeking because no one but me would touch a lip-smacking cheese-dripping creamy casserole, so I only make about enough for myself. Because I don't have to share. My life is a living tragedy, I know.

Layer the cheese on the noodle-in-sauce. 

In my case, the cheese covered empty bits of the dish in several places, so when I took the steaming cass. out of the oven, there were little pools of pure, unadulterated, melted cheese in between the mushroom and chicken. Don't you feel sad when little imperfects like that mar a dish you took absolutely no trouble over? No? Goodness. We could soul-siblings.

Next, in the absence of shop-bought breadcrumbs (I don't even know if we get them in non-supermarket Calcutta), I crushed a couple of Marie biscuits, and a few salty cumin-flavoured ones. So much better then bland breadcrumbs.

 
And drizzled it on top of the cheese.

 
And then, after a thirty minute bake at 200C...

 
It was ready! You can't make out the bubbling cheese pools, nor smell the divine savoury-baked aroma, but you can take my word for it: Colour, smell, texture -- this was irrestible.
 
So I wasted no time resisting it.

Yum yum yum!
But enough about my fabulous dinner. Time to go make your own! Shoo!

6 comments:

Sue said...

*hunts for the Like button*

Rimi said...

Aw, thank you Sunny :-)

Monidipa said...

Make and feed, pliss.

Dea-chan said...

Oh nommy. I see so many tetrazini recipes this time of year (mostly with people using up leftover turkey and liking alliteration). But you make it look quite tasty. I like your spiced cracker approach to the topping -- I'll have to try that at some point.

Also, so sad about your cheese selections! :-( Is Calcutta not a big cheese area?

irrelevantbanter said...

Tetrazini is the BEST. Pure bliss.

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