Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fowl Weather

So yeah, we haven't seen the sun here in days. It's been damp and cold and just generally sucky. BUT That didn't stop me from making my latest creation - it came out fantabulous! Husband is STILL praising it. It was (drum roll, please). Italian Chicken Lasagna with Creamy Pesto Sauce. Woo Hoo, it was so good. It was inspired by my need to use up the cheeses and other whatnot that I brought home on my last NYC trip. This consisted of ricotta, marscapone, Proscuitto de san daniele, pana gradano, pesto, and marinated sun dried tomatoes. Here is how it went down:

First, I poached 2 chicken breast in water (reserve that poaching liquid!). When they were cooled, I gave them a rough chop into bite sized pieces. The chicken got mixed with chopped, fresh spinach and chopped, marinated sun dried tomatoes. To put it over the top I chopped up some Proscuitto de san Daniele and mixed that in there too! Yeah baby!

For the cheese layer I mixed some high quality ricotta, marscapone and pana grandano along with some Italian seasoning. For good measure I added a couple eggs, too.

Then the sauce, first I melted about a half stick of butter and added 3 cloves of sliced garlic and let them meld together over low heat. To that I added some flour to make a roux and let that cook a bit to get rid of the raw flour taste. Then, I added my container of quality pesto sauce, some milk and some half and half (because the milk was 1%) and raised the heat to thicken it all up.

To assemble it all, I spooned some sauce on the bottom of the pan and topped it with a fresh lasagna sheet. Then, I spread a good thick layer of the ricotta mixture on that, which I topped with some shredded Mozzarella. Then came another pasta sheet followed by the meat mixture. That also got covered with some of the sauce and some shredded Mozzarella. Finally, the last pasta sheet went on with some more sauce and Mozzarella and pana grandano. I baked the whole thing at 350F for about an hour and let it sit a good 15 minutes before serving. It was absolutely delicious and the leftovers were even better!

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