Chicken Lasagna

Servings : Serves 4-6

A twist to the classic and luxuriously hearty Lasagna, this time using chicken in the meat sauce along with creamy white sauce and lots of cheese!

Ingredients for Meat Sauce

  • 500gm chicken mince
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 8 fresh tomatoes, blended until smooth
  • 4 tbsp. tomato/paste puree
  • 2 tbsp. tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1 green or red capsicum, chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • chopped coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano (optional)
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • chopped veggies like beans, peas, carrots, sweet corn (optional or you can use any that you like and leave the rest out)

Ingredients for White Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper powder to taste (or you can also use black pepper)

Other Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna sheets (approximately)
  • 2-3 cups grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese
  • oregano (optional)
  • chopped coriander (optional)
  • chilli flakes (optional)

Instructions

Heat oil, then add the onions and fry until soft and translucent. Add the ginger and garlic pastes, and when they release their aroma, add the mince and sprinkle some black pepper over it and fry whilst breaking the bits of mince so that there are no lumps. Keep stirring until the mince changes colour. 

In place of mince you can use boneless cubes of chicken, just shred them a little bit after they are cooked before adding the tomatoes.

Now add the green chillies and veggies if you are using them, and sprinkle the spices of your choice (I normally add a pinch of turmeric and a tsp. of cumin powder) fry them with the mince for a few minutes, then add the tomato paste and blended tomatoes. Simmer on low heat whilst covered until the sauce thickens and the mince is cooked through then add the ketchup, sugar and adjust salt and chilli. Sprinkle some oregano if you have it, or a bit of garam masala, squeeze the lemon juice in and sprinkle some chopped coriander, then turn off the heat. This sauce should not be dry, it should be relatively saucy.

Next, prepare the White Sauce.

Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in plain flour, then cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Cooking the flour in the butter hleps reduce the 'raw' smell of flour so don't skip this step! Slowly whisk in the milk, if you pour the milk in too quickly you will form lumps, so add gradually whilst whisking briskly to get rid of any lumps and form a smooth roux/mixture. Then bring to a boil, whilst stirring. Turn down heat and cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Prepare your lasagna sheets, about 12 should be enough. Check if they need to be boiled first or if they can be used as is. It is normally indicated on the carton. If they need to be boiled, follow the instructions on the pack and proceed to boil them for the time specified. Keep some shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese ready, my favourite combination!

Finally, assemble the dish.

Grease a baking dish with some butter, then add a bit of white sauce (to prevent your lasagna from sticking to the dish), followed by some lasagna sheets. Try to avoid overlapping, you can break the lasagna sheets to fit your dish. Now pour some meat sauce, followed by white sauce and some cheese. Again add a layer of lasagna sheets, again the meat sauce and once more cover with the white sauce and cheese. You can add a third layer if your dish is deep enough. Make sure the final layer is covered with white sauce, then sprinkle some cheese on top followed by some chopped coriander, chilli flakes or freshly chopped red chilli and oregano if you like

Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for about 40 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, then cover it with some foil and continue baking. Once ready, remove and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into the lasagna. This will ensure that your cuts will be neat and tidy.

Enjoy your yummy lasagna!

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