Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chicken Lasagna

It's a wonderful meal that just keeps on giving! This one recipe will feed my family of 5 and then have lots left over for lunches throughout the week. It also freezes well, *however* if you are going to freeze it, you should under-cook the noodles just a bit before freezing otherwise you will end up with really mushy noodles the second time around...I learned that one the hard way. Mushy lasagna is not, as Alton Brown would say "Good Eats". (Yes, I'm a total cooking nerd that I watch old episodes of Good Eats on Food Network and the Cooking channel most Friday Night's while my hubby does homework!) Ok, so here is the recipe and subsequent cooking instructions!

Ingredients

1 cup chopped Onions (I use sweet or vidalia onions because they don't burn my eyes like yellow onions)

2 crushed garlic cloves (again, I'm kind of lazy, so I buy a giant bottle of minced garlic from Costco and I use about a spoon full of minced garlic in its place)

1/2 cup oil (vegetable oil, coconut oil, whatever you want...I'd avoid canola oil personally...but that's just me)

1/4 pound chopped prosciutto (can be found at any grocery store, however the best price per lb I have found is at Costco...it also freezes really well for the next time you want to make lasagna. =) )

2 cups diced, cooked chicken (I roast a whole chicken and shred the chicken and use some of that)

32 ounces Tomato Sauce

12 ounces Tomato Paste

1 cup Chicken Broth

1 cup dry white wine (Personally I use a dry sherry, it tends to be cheaper.)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp each of Basil, Pepper and Oregano

1 lb. curly lasagna (DO NOT use the "oven ready" noodles, cook them yourself, they are WAY better)

2 cups grated parmesan cheese

1/2 lb. sliced mozarella and 1/2 lb shredded mozarella

Directions

-In a large saucepan add the oil and cook the Onions and Garlic until soft (about 5 minutes on medium heat).

-Add chicken, prosciutto, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and stir gently then cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. *Here is my important tip...are you listening? Add the wine FIRST and cook it down for at least 5 minutes before adding anything else to the mix. The smell will change from one of booze to one of different elements, wait for that change! If you don't do this it will taste like you are eating booze, and seeing as I don't drink, it was a very unpleasant learning curve!*

-While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles. Once cooked, strain and rinse with COLD water. This will help prevent the noodles from sticking together too bad.

-Here comes the assembly instructions...yes, there are actually instructions for assembly...this was given to me by my husband's Italian Grandmother, as they say in Wreck it Ralph "You can't mess with the program".
                   *Cover large baking dish bottom with 1/4 of the sauce
                   *Place a layer of cooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce
                   *Sprinkle with 1/3 of the parmesan
                   *Sprinkle with the shredded mozarella
                   * Layer with 1/4 of the sauce
-Repeat this process until you are near the top of the baking dish making sure that sauce is on top and then arrange sliced mozarella over the top. Make sure you cover it completely. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted and begun to brown (not burn, but brown).

*Another tip from me, let the lasagna rest for a minimum of 10 minutes before cutting into it! It will help keep your pieces from falling apart.*

This is a family favorite and is SO worth the effort. I hope you all enjoy it. Let me know what you think of it after you have made it! :)
So Delicious! Worth every penny and minute to make it! =)


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