More Techniques On Paragraphing…And A Great Recipe For Chicken Tetrazzini!

As stated in my last post, March 10, 2012, today I am including my favorite recipe, for chicken tetrazzini, from  A Treasury Of Great Recipes,  the excellent cookbook of Mary andVincent Price.  This recipe is being presented to demonstrate the flexibility of descriptive paragraphing, which may be used for simple or complicated subjects.  The subject here is not complicated, although the recipe itself involves several steps.

There are different methods for developing a paragraph.  A recipe necessarily proceeds in chronological order, as would the description of a golf swing.  As a method of developing a paragraph or choosing a pattern of organization, some may call this “process paragraphing,” as compared with other forms of paragraphing such as analogy, compare and contrast,  cause and effect, and others.  But, this is an unnecessary complication.  It is still  descriptive paragraphing.

In this recipe, topic sentences have been used where appropriate.   A more complicated subject would require greater care in sentence structuring.  Paragraph coherence has been established by the orderly arrangement of sentences.  Transitional words and phrases have been used to facilitate movement from one paragraph to another.

While this recipe is being presented for illlustrative purposes, it really works.  First, a word of caution.  Many recipes are straightforward and uncomplicated.  This recipe looks a bit scary, but after it’s made the first time it’s very easy.  Just have all of the ingredients ready to go and it works like a charm.  Besides, it’s well worth the trouble – my wife has made this dish for many years.  It will be a hit every time you serve it.  Here’s the recipe:

There are several steps involved.

Preparation of the tetrazzini is easy when ingredients are organized and measured out.  The first step of the recipe requires 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken, 1/4 cup of butter, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, and 1/4 cup of sherry.  Melt the butter in a large skillet or frying pan and saute the  mushrooms.  Add the sherry, stir, and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken, mix well, and turn off the heat.

The next step is to cook 12 ounces (or approximately 6 cups) of spaghetti according to directions.

Preparation of the supreme sauce is next.  This sauce requires 2 tablespoons of  butter, 3 tablespoons of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper, 1/4 cup of cream, and 1 cup of chicken broth.  Put all of these ingredients into a blender, turn on at low speed until mixed, then high speed for about 30 seconds until mixed well. Place this mixture into a double boiler and cook over simmering water for 15 minutes until thickened.

Then, to create the supreme sauce, stir in 1/4  cup of cream to the sauce in the double boiler.  Mix together and add to the chicken mixture.  Add an additional 1/2 cup of cream and mix well.  Simmer on low heat about 5 minutes, add a final 1/2 cup of cream, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper and stir together until mixed well.

To prepare the casserole, butter a large casserole dish and fill it with half of the cooked spaghetti.  Then, cover the spaghetti with half of the chicken mixture.  Repeat this process with the remaining spaghetti and chicken mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the hollandaise sauce, the final step.  This sauce requires 1 cup of butter, 4 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of tabasco.  Using a small pan, heat the butter until hot.   Place the remaining ingredients into a blender.  Turn the blender on low speed and immediately pour the hot butter in a steady stream through the opening in the top of the blender cover.  Turn off the blender immediately and pour the sauce over the chicken and spaghetti casserole.  Spread the sauce to cover the chicken.  Top with 1/4 cup (or more, to your taste) of grated parmesan cheese.

Place the uncovered casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until bubbly and brown on top.  The casserole can be browned under the broiler for just a couple of minutes.  Serve immediately with a nice salad.  This recipe can be made the day before, but cover and refrigerate until ready to bake and serve.  If baking right from the refrigerator, it will take approximately 50 to 60 minutes in a preheated oven.

This recipe serves 6 to 8 people.  I hope you enjoy it.

Copyright 2012.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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