White cheese chicken lasagna
With fall now officially upon us, it’s only a matter of time before Halifax’s weather becomes quite cold and quite damp pretty much all of the time. This sort of weather calls for warm blankets and major comfort food, so I suggest you try the following recipe. It’s not healthy, so I don’t recommend you put it in your weekly recipe rotation, but it sure is delicious. If you feel like being virtuous, you can use low-fat cheese, grill the chicken, and increase the spinach. Or not, your call. Vegetarians can swap out the chicken for grilled veggies like eggplant or zucchini, and swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
9 lasagna noodles
1/2 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced (this means chopped up very small)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
1/2 cup spinach
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (not entirely necessary, but it looks pretty if you’re trying to be fancy)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan (this is a spiffy word for ‘pot’) over medium heat. Cook the garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Season with the basil, oregano, and ground black pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, the ricotta, and the chicken. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, and layer with 1/3 of the sauce mixture, spinach, and another 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining noodles over cheese, and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley, the remaining cup of mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. It should be bubbly and slightly golden on top when it’s done.
Serve with salad and fresh bread, if you really want to class it up. This lasagna is fantastically delicious, and keeps well for a few days in a sealed container in the fridge. Enjoy in moderation!