Turkey Tetrazzini for a Crowd
I made this turkey tetrazzini for the retired folks at my church. We were having an amazing speaker so we had a nice crowd of close to 60. Turkey Tetrazzini worked well for a large crowd and for the confined space I had to serve in. When cooking for a large number of people, you often have to adapt a recipe from originals. It really is not as simple as multiplying as some ingredients you just don’t multiply (like oil) and the times are all off on how long steps take. I adapted this recipe from a couple of different ones but the predominant recipe was from The Pioneer Woman (Rhee Drummond).
Difficulty: Medium due to large quantity
Time: If doing the pasta like I did the night before in smaller batches then about 6-7 hours.
Ingredients for 75:
2 heads garlic
3 onions, diced
6 lbs mushrooms
3 t salt
1 bottle white wine
1 1/2 cups flour
20 cups chicken broth
40oz cream cheese
15 cups cooked turkey or chicken (poached is good, I bought de-boned, rotisserie style chicken from my favorite warehouse store to save a bit on time for such a large crowd)
7.5 cups frozen green peas
1 1/2 pounds bacon, cooked and chopped
24 oz grated Monterrey jack cheese
20 oz cups grated Parmesan cheese
20 oz Panko bread crumbs
How to make turkey tetrazzini for a large crowd (75 people)
Cook pasta until almost done. Drain, rinse and set aside. For such a large crowd, I did this the night before in 8 different batches, drained, rinsed, let cool and put in Ziploc bags. I did not have any facilities to cook that much pasta in one batch.
In a really big (industrial size) pot, heat butter over medium-high heat and sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add the quartered mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms begin to get soft but are not complete. Add the thyme and wine and cook until reduced by half.
Add the flour slowly and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the chicken broth. Cook until the mixture thickens. This will take a while when cooking for such a large crowd. While you are getting that to thicken, cut up the cream cheese into smaller cubes so it will melt easier.
When the mixture begins to thicken, add the cream cheese and stir it until it mostly blends with the mixture. Add the other cheeses and stir. Then add the chicken/turkey, peas, and bacon. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Place 1/4 of the pasta in a large industrial style cooking container (hotel pan). Add 1/4 of the mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with Panko bread crumbs. Repeat for the remaining pasta and mixture for a total of 4 large casserole dishes.
Bake the dishes at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until the sauce bubbles and the bread crumbs are toasted. If doing some of the work in advance (thus sauce not already warm), then this may take longer than 25 minutes.
I served this with a large mixed green salad with toasted pecans, feta cheese, craisins and a raspberry walnut vinaigrette and a piece of garlic bread. A perfect meal.
Maybe serve with this great salad: