Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chicken Lasagne Recipe

A chicken and tomato sauce, spinach and ricotta mixture, and cheese sauce are layered with pasta sheets in a baking dish. The lasagne is topped with grated cheese and oven baked until bubbly and golden.

Preparation time: about 1.5 hours (excludes baking time)

Serves: about 8-10

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

Chicken Layer
20ml (1 tablespoon) oil (e.g. extra light olive oil)
200g (about 1 large) onion, peeled and finely chopped
100g (about 1 large stick) celery, ends trimmed, finely chopped
120g (about 1 medium) carrot, peeled and finely chopped
500g lean chicken mince (we use mince made from chicken breast fillets)
150g flat mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and roughly chopped
10g crushed garlic (about 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed)
75g (1/4 cup) tomato paste
800g canned tomatoes (chop if using canned whole tomatoes)
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock (we use a low-salt stock)
6g (1 tablespoon) chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
6g (1 tablespoon) chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 bay leaves
Salt, to taste (we use about 1/4 teaspoon fine table salt)
Pepper, to taste (we use about 1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper)

Silverbeet Layer
850g bunch silverbeet
250g creamy ricotta cheese
50g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
Salt, to taste (we use about 1/8 teaspoon fine table salt)
Pepper, to taste

Cheese Sauce
60g (1/4 cup) butter
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (or 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
562ml (2 1/4 cups) milk (we use milk with about 3.6 percent fat)
50g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Lasagne Sheets and Cheese Topping
About 300g dry instant lasagne sheets
66g (2/3 cup) grated mozzarella cheese
33g (1/3 cup) grated parmesan cheese

Chicken Layer

Heat oil in a heavy-based large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened but not browned (about 10 minutes).

Increase heat to medium-high and add the chicken mince. Break up mince by mashing with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon until no large clumps remain.

Add mushrooms, garlic and tomato paste to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for about two to three minutes.

Add tomatoes, chicken stock, oregano, basil and bay leaves to the chicken mixture and stir to combine.

Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced slightly. The sauce should be runnier than you would like it to be in the finished lasagne as some of the liquid will be absorbed by the lasagne sheets as they cook.

Remove saucepan from the heat. Discard the bay leaves. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

If you are not assembling the lasagne at this stage, cover and refrigerate the chicken mixture until required.

Silverbeet Layer

Remove the stalks from the silverbeet leaves. Rinse leaves with water and leave water clinging to the leaves. Place leaves in a large saucepan and cover with a lid.

Place saucepan over high heat until leaves have wilted (about 2-3 minutes). ©

Remove from the heat. Leave silverbeet covered in saucepan for about five minutes to cool slightly.

Finely chop the silverbeet.

Using your hands, squeeze the silverbeet to remove as much moisture as possible (this prevents the liquid from making the lasagne too watery).

Place cooled silverbeet, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until well combined. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to assemble the lasagne.

Cheese Sauce
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk flour and nutmeg into melted butter and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for about 30 seconds.

Remove saucepan from the heat, add the milk, and whisk until smooth. Return saucepan to the heat and whisk constantly to prevent the sauce sticking on the bottom of the pan. Cook until sauce thickens and bubbles (you may need to stop whisking to see the bubbling), about 7-10 minutes. Remove saucepan from the heat.

Whisk parmesan cheese into sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assembly and Baking
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Adjust the oven rack to the middle shelf position (not necessary for a fan-forced oven).

You will need an ovenproof dish with a capacity of at least 3.25 litres (13 cups) and height of at least 6.5cm. Our dish measures 19.5cm by 33.5cm (top inside measurements) by 6.5cm deep.

Spread about 1/3 cup (95g) of the cheese sauce over the base of the dish. This thin layer of sauce will help prevent the pasta from sticking to the dish.

Cover the sauce with a single layer of pasta.

Spread half of the chicken mixture over the pasta.

Cover chicken mixture with a layer of pasta.

Spread half the remaining cheese sauce over the pasta. If you're dividing the sauce by eye (rather than measuring it), it's better to use a little less cheese sauce for this layer so that you'll have enough to cover the top layer of pasta.

Dollop spoonfuls of the spinach mixture over the cheese sauce and spread evenly.

Cover with a layer of pasta.

Spread remaining chicken mixture over the pasta. Cover with a layer of pasta.

Spread the remaining cheese sauce over the pasta, making sure it is completely covered. Sprinkle the combined mozzarella and parmesan cheeses evenly over the sauce.

Cover lasagne with a piece of baking paper and then a piece of aluminium foil.

Bake lasagne for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for a further 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and the pasta is tender (test with a knife). Remove lasagne from oven and set aside for about 10 minutes to allow it to firm up slightly before cutting and serving.

Store lasagne, covered, in the refrigerator or freezer. We freeze in individual serve portions.


Blogger Chris said...

As usual with the rest of your recipes, this looks delicious. Was just about to do up a new meal plan and this will now be starring on it. Can't wait to try it and review it.

11/2/10 8:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Deb and Amanda,
Is it possible to use fresh lasagne sheets as i make your vege one and it has fresh sheets and is very popular in my house.

12/2/10 11:31 pm  
Anonymous Jira said...

I've tried your beeg lasagne & roasted vegetabble lasagne. Both are delicious. I will certainly try this one.

But is there any subsitution for silverbeet?

13/2/10 2:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful recipe! I made this two nights ago and it was perfect! I substituted the Ricotta for Philadelphia Light as I can't get Ricotta where I am located and the results were still very tasty. Love the fact that there are so many vegetables in this lasagne and the kids didn't seem to notice! 5 Stars!

15/2/10 6:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ladies would totally outperform the competitors on MKR!!

15/2/10 10:33 pm  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I made this lasagne over the weekend and all I can say is WOW! Everything I have made off your website is awesome. Thanks Girls! x

22/2/10 10:21 am  
Anonymous T20 Cricket said...

A real informative blog like this is a very cool helping source for a needy information seeker like me! Thanks a lot..

24/2/10 5:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i cant find silverbeet here. What can i use instead?

24/2/10 7:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

27/2/10 5:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooo easy! And so delicious.
I didnt have any silverbeet, so used a block of frozen spinach from the vege section at the supermarket.

8/3/10 2:29 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Jira and Anonymous

As noted by the previous commenter, spinach could be used in place of the silverbeet.

10/3/10 2:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried the recipe last week. Very pleased with the result. A bit time consuming, but well worth the effort as it makes a lot!

11/3/10 5:54 pm  
Anonymous Elaine from Cookware Help said...

Looks delish! I'm planning to make this for our Easter Sunday brunch at home and like what you said, I'll be using spinach to replace silverbeet. Anyone have some good appetizer recipe to go with it?

My first time to this blog and I'm loving it.

26/3/10 5:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm just wondering what is a healthier option for the cheese sauce, can just add some grated cheese instead?

16/11/10 10:10 pm  
Anonymous Lisa Lou said...

I made this last night and it was incredible! I used spinach instead of silverbeet and replaced the celery with peas, but the consitency of the sauces and the falvours was fantastic. Thanks for posting this, the step by step guide with the timings really helped to make this an easy recipe to follow.

18/3/11 12:43 am  
Blogger Julietta Jameson said...

Fantastic recipe! Great directions, the timings and measurements were spot on and the result is incredible! Loved it, thanks.

28/6/13 9:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already made this thrice for my husband! Definitely one of the best recipes I have ever made. I'm allergic to eggs, so I removed the egg from the silverbeet layer! It came out perfect! Thank you!

4/8/13 4:23 am  

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