Chicken Tetrazzini and the Red Velvet Cupcake Murder

Just finished another in the charming Hannah Swensen Mystery series by Joanne Fluke - The Red Velvet Cupcake Murder. I'm a sucker for Joanne Fluke books.  If you weren't hungry when you started reading, it wouldn't take long to get there.  A bit of mystery, some romance, and a whole lot of food!  Lots of good recipes are included.  This one is number 16 in her series.  I did review another one of her books, The Blueberry Muffin Murder. several years ago.  Some of us enjoy a long series, when the books are well done, and especially if there's plenty of  food inspiration. Light reading, nothing too deep here.

The Publishers have this to say: 
"This summer has been warmer than usual in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen is trying to beat the heat both in and out of her bakery kitchen. But she’s about to find out the hard way that nothing cools off a hot day like a cold-blooded murder. At the grand opening of a local hotel, a police department employee nearly dies falling from a penthouse—and then another woman, with whom Hannah has a less-than-friendly relationship, winds up dead. Hannah is the prime suspect—and to clear her own name, she’s got to find out who iced the victim…
Features cookie and dessert recipes from The Cookie Jar, including Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes and Chocolate Covered Peanut Cookies!"

“Culinary cozies don't get any tastier than this winning series.”—Library Journal

So, for my food inspiration, this recipe is right from the book, Chicken Tetrazzini.  The name just stuck in my brain.   You've got to love the Italian sound of it, and so it went right onto our dinner menu schedule.  After roasting a nice chicken, a few days earlier, these leftovers were on my mind the whole time. 

Chicken Tetrazzini

Starting off with a nicely roasted chicken, seasoned liberally with minced rosemary and garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper., I chopped up some of the remaining chicken.

Serves 4 (more like 6)

1 and 1/2.cups cooked chicken, cut up in cubes

1 1/4 cups spaghetti (1/2 lb)

1/4 cup diced, canned pimento (about 1 small jar)

1/4 of a green bell pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

dash of sherry (optional)

1 can cream of condensed  mushroom soup

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 teas. salt

1/8 teas. freshly ground pepper or to taste

2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese (or grated Italian cheeses)

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained

1 small can Ortega diced green chilies, drained

Break the spaghetti into pieces approximately 4 inches long.  Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water according to package directions.  Drain and rinse.

Place the cooked spaghetti, cubed chicken, pimento, green pepper, onion and remaining ingredients (except half of the cheese) in a large bowl.  Lightly toss everything together with a fork and large spoon.  Spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking oil.  Set it on a drip pan, just in case.  

Transfer the contents of your mixing bowl to the casserole dish.  Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

This photo before going into the oven.  I was thinking a larger casserole dish should have been suggested, but it was fine, barely fit the dish, but didn't go overboard.  The flavors, as it turned out, were spot on.  Really fantastic if I do say so.

I'll be sharing all this goodness over at Weekend Cooking, hosted by the Intrepid Reader, Marge, and with Heather for her December Foodie Reads Challenge. I hope you'll visit both and check out all the good food and book suggestions.