Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crockpot Dinner: Chicken Tetrazzini

Before I got pregnant, I had a (now defunct) blog where I would often write about meals that I had cooked and break down the costs for each meal (proving to myself and the rest of the world that it is almost always cheaper to cook at home than to eat out).  Now that we are out of the all-consuming newborn phase, I have started to cook again and thought it would be a nice feature to add to this blog.  I will admit that my cooking style has changed in the past 2 months.  I seek out recipes that are quick and/or easy – I haven’t yet had the guts to tackle a Julia Child recipe (those would take me hours BEFORE a baby came into our lives, and would probably take me  all day to complete now that Guinevere is here).

I always loved my crockpot before, but now I love it even more!  Guinevere tends to be in a good mood in the mornings and will often take a little nap (she apparently inherited my ability to power nap), so it’s relatively easy for me to assemble a crockpot meal in the morning and then let it cook all day while I focus on her.  Thus far, every time I have waited until the evening to start cooking dinner, it has backfired on me.  When my sister came out to visit, we decided to cook a recipe that should have taken maybe an hour, but it took 5!  Guinevere decided to be fussy and we had to pass her back and forth while juggling cooking, and then taking breaks when she needed to be fed.

Back to the crockpot: last Sunday, I made Chicken Tetrazzini.  I modified a recipe I found in “Crockery Cookery.”  I don’t like mushrooms, so I eliminated them from this recipe.  This would be a good candidate for a frozen crockpot meal (where you chop and prepare everything except the liquids and then freeze it, writing on the ziplock bag what liquids and other steps need to be taken).  The prep work went pretty quickly.  I had Aaron hold Guinevere while I chopped the onions and cut up the chicken.  All in all, I think the prep took about 15 minutes.

Here’s the recipe as I made it:
·    Chop 1 onion, cut up 4 chicken breasts and then put them in a crockpot along with vegetable broth, wine, salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley.  Cook that on low for 4-5 hours.  (At some point during this time, cook the spaghetti and set it aside for adding to the recipe later).

·    Dissolve the cornstarch in water and add it to the crockpot and cook on high for 20 minutes.  (I think next time I might use a little less cornstarch).

·     Add the spaghetti, half n half, and half the parmesan cheese and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

·      Then it’s ready to serve, topped by the rest of the parmesan cheese.

And here’s my cost breakdown:
Chicken Tetrazzini

4 chicken breasts
bought fresh from the butcher
1 cup vegetable broth
used half a boullion cube
1/2 cup dry white wine
$5 bottle of wine
1 onion
had in my pantry
salt, thyme, pepper, parsley to taste
had in my pantry
3 tbs cornstarch
had in my pantry
1/4 cup water
tap water
1/2 cup half n half
half of a $1.69 container
8 oz spaghetti
half of a $1 package
1/2 cup grated parmesan
half of a $4 package of parmesan
side dish of peas


8 servings
per serving

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the meal – I promise you it was delicious.  We've been eating it for leftovers every day since Sunday.


  1. in fairness the fancy recipe took 5 hours because it was written in a completely non-nonsensical way. Had it been written logically we could have had it done in 3... =p

  2. Well, yes. That is true - what kind of recipe tells you to cook lentils AFTER you are halfway through? :)