Monday, February 21, 2011

White Lasagna with Roasted Chicken, Artichoke and Bell Pepper

Definitely still the season for comfort food.  And the more of it you can take credit for, the more comforting it is.

After morphing a few recipes, here is my version of WHITE lasagna.  And hear me out- there's no cream, and a lot of great veggies in it!

White Lasagna with Roasted Chicken, Artichoke and Bell Pepper

12 lasagna noodles

1/2 cup butter

1 onion, chopped

2-3 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups milk

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided 2 cup portions

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided ¼ cup, ¾ cup

1 teaspoon fresh basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups roasted chicken meat, cut into chunks

1 bell pepper

1 cup chopped artichoke hearts

3 cups fresh spinach

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350

I bought a roasted chicken (this was my cheating moment, but needed that roasted flavor and fast!) and tore the chicken up then used the bones and pieces to make stock.

Bring chicken parts, water, celery, carrot, onion, pepper corns, thyme, parsley and bay leaf to a boil.  Simmer for 2-3 hours.  Strain out juices and refrigerate over night.  In the morning, it will look like this.  Scrape excess fat off top and there you go- home made stock!!

I strain what I'm about to use one more time to get any pepper corns and floaters out of there.  If you use canned stock, that's just fine.  Chris says I'm in a better mood when I make my own stock.  Makes me feel like a real chef.  Plus it freezes so well!

Where's Waldo: I'm always missing something- do you know what it is?

I love how my ingredients line up like this for me.  They're all so well behaved.

Note: there are REAL shadows in this pic coming from my kitchen window- the sun was out in Portland!
Highlighting Pasta Montana again.  I loved these noodles because you could actually SEE the grain in them.  They weren't just yellow- there was real substance to them!

Mozzarella and Parm

Get your grating out of the way.  I really don't like grating cheese, but most already grated kinds have higher fat content and more preservatives in these cheese to get the shreds to hold form.  So... do it yourself.  

And chop up your onion.  I was noting how lovely onion skins are.

I've contacted an old student of ours who is studying art, Megan Udell.  She's very crafty and recycles many interesting things with art.  Think anthropology.  I've challenged her with onion skins.  She's on it.  Stay tuned for art that might make you cry.

Start your white sauce by melting your butter over medium heat.  

Also begin to boil your noddles.  Probably around 8-10 minutes or so.  When they're done, splash them with some oil so they won't stick to one another.

Once butter is melted, cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until tender.

Then add your flour and salt until it's bubbling.

Add your milk and broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

As soon as it's begun to boil, add your 2 cups mozzarella 1/4 parm cheeses, basil, oregano and pepper

Start with 1/4 of your sauce in the bottom of your dish.

Where's Waldo Answer: Artichoke Hearts!  I almost forgot them!
These are so great for salads, or chopped in pasta sauces too!

Layer up over the sauce:  pasta noodles (overlapping slightly), chicken, bell pepper, artichoke, spinach

Sprinkle each layer with cheese.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Keep on layering in that order until the you run out (I did about three layers total).

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

A spinach salad and a refreshing Viogneier accompanied this nicely.

For a more traditional take on meat lasagna, click here.

1 comment:

  1. ummm....YES PLEASE! That looks sooo legit! Bet Ritter was loving his life that night. If I had been there I would have politely thanked you for making such a wonderful meal and then asked, "What are you guys going to eat?" :)