Chicken Lasagne

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So many people, my dad included, would turn their noses up at anything other than ‘proper’ lasagne. As far as he’s concerned, beef lasagne is the food of the gods. He’s basically Garfield in human form (without the ginger hair!). But for people who don’t like regular lasagne, or just fancy a change, this is really tasty. It does take a little more effort than beef lasagne, but in my opinion it’s well worth it.

To start with, you need:

1 large chicken (3 lb approx)

It’s entirely up to you how you cook the chicken, I roasted it, but you could boil or slow cook it if you so wished. This is something that can be done ahead, I cooked it and picked it the day before I put the lasagne together. Make sure the chicken is cooked through, let it cool and then pick off all the meat and cut into bite-sized pieces. You can save the carcass for making stock.

3 large leeks

Fry up the leeks in a little butter until they start to brown, then set them to one side.

You will also need:

1 pack (8 oz?) lasagne sheets (I prefer using fresh egg lasagne)

grated cheese, approx 6 oz

Now you have all the components, time to make the sauce.

3 oz butter/margarine

3 oz plain flour

1 1/2 pts chicken stock

1/2 pt white wine

1/4 pt single cream

Melt the butter in a large pan (it need to hold approx 3 pints!) and mix in the flour until it forms a ball. Over low/medium heat add the stock, a little splash at a time, making sure you mix it in well so it doesn’t go lumpy or curdle. Once all the stock has been added, pour in the wine and turn up the heat a little, stirring regularly. When it begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the cream and about 1/3 of the grated cheese.

Now you’re ready to put it all together. I like to use a deep dish for lasagne, you get more layers, and more layers = more yumminess. I usually work out how many layers I can get based on how many pasta sheets I need per layer and how many sheets I have. I think I got 4 layers on this occasion, so I’ll base it on that. Cover the bottom of your dish (pyrex or a metal baking tray is usually best) with a layer of sauce, then pasta, 1/4 of the leeks, 1/4 of the chicken and 1/4 of the cheese. Pour over some more sauce, and do the next layer, pasta, leeks, chicken, cheese, sauce. Carry on until you have used all the chicken and leeks. Finish off with a layer of pasta, the remaining sauce and a little sprinkle of cheese. Bake at 200°C for 45 – 50 minutes. Serve piping hot with salad and garlic bread.

* As with most of my dishes, this can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Lasagne also freezes really well, either cooked or uncooked.

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