Chicken Parmesan Lasagna – combines the flavours of two comfort food Italian classics into one great dinner. You can even use leftover chicken.
This is a recipe that resulted from leftover grilled chicken from a barbeque the night before and some leftover pasta dough that was in the fridge. I first made it about 10 years ago and it was such a hit that I’ve made it dozens of times since. It’s a particular favorite of my son and a popular dinner with the rest of the household too.
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled and diced (or sauteed in olive oil and garlic until cooked)
1 ½ pounds grated mozzarella
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
4 large sliced tomatoes
For the Ricotta filling (optional)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper to season
Whisk all together and set aside.
For the pasta:
You can use store bought (fresh if possible) or make your own.
4 1/2 cups durum semolina
2 cup all purpose flour
6 large eggs, room temperature.
Combine flour and durum semolina and make a well in the center. Crack your eggs into the well and using a fork to beat the eggs, slowly begin to incorporate the flour into the eggs until everything is combined into a very stiff dough. The dough should be slightly stiffer than play dough. Knead for 5 -10 minutes on a bread board, cover in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes , then knead again and allow to rest again.You can use a pasta machine to roll the dough into sheets about 1/8 inch thickness or just a regular rolling pin on a well floured surface. Boil pasta sheets for 1-2 minutes before using in the lasagne assembly.
For the sauce:
1/2 head fennel sliced
2 lbs chopped roma tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
In a large baking pan toss the fennel slices and tomatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees F until the fennel is fork tender. Remove from oven and puree in a food processor or food mill. (If fresh fennel is not available try substituting 2 tsp crushed fennel seeds in the sauce.)
In a large saucepan sauté for 1 minute
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 small red onion finely diced
Roasted fennel puree
1 32 ounce can plain tomato sauce
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 whole bay leaf
1 large carrot finely grated
½ cup finely diced celery
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp red chile flakes (optional or to taste)
Salt and pepper to season
Slowly simmer for about a half hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf .
To assemble the lasagna:
Place a ladle full of sauce mixed with a ladle full of water in the bottom of 3 inch deep 9×13 inch lasagne pan. Cover the bottom and sides of the dish with pasta sheets, letting the edges hang out over the edge of the pan. These ends will be folded over the top at the end.
Next add a layer each of ½ of the sliced chicken, ½ the sauce, ¼ of the parmesan and mozza cheeses and ½ the sliced tomatoes. Next add another layer of pasta, then the ricotta filling and another layer of pasta. Add the remaining sliced chicken, sauce, ¼ of the parmesan and mozza cheeses and half the sliced tomatoes. Fold the pasta hanging over the sides over the top and then add a final layer of pasta. Top with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.