Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lasagna with Chicken, Broccoli and Mushrooms

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 40 minutes

¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 large white onion, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 pound fresh assorted mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into bite size florets (about 2 cups)
12 lasagna noodles

8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
8 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
3 cups cooked chicken breast, diced
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook the onion in the butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour, and herbs de Provence. Slowly stir in the milk. Whisk until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the green onions and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms begin to brown. Season with fresh rosemary and additional salt and pepper.

Cook the broccoli in boiling, salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the broccoli from the water and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Place the lasagna noodles into the boiling water. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet that has been coated with vegetable oil spray.

Stir together the ricotta cheese and egg.

Place a ladle full of white sauce into the bottom of a 11 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top with broccoli and another layer of sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the chicken. Dollop with ½ of the ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella.

Add a second layer of lasagna noodles. Top with a ladle full of white sauce. Spread the mushroom mixture over the top. Add 1/3 of the diced chicken. Dollop the remaining ricotta cheese and sprinkle with ½ of the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Top with the remaining lasagna noodles. Ladle the remaining white sauce over top. Sprinkle with the remaining chicken and mozzarella. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Cool the casserole to room temperature. Wrap with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. Mark the casserole and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator, or in a sink filled with cold water. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake until the top of the casserole is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes.

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