The Last Heavy Dish Till Winter.
Who could say no to that?
Now, I know it's about to be July. But whatever, I make my own rules and apparently I make up my own lasagnas too. And it was good, sooooo good. I've had this idea in theory and in the works for some time now and I finally just decided on whim to just do it.
When making a lasagna the two most important things to remember are not to overcook the pasta and of course the art of learning adequate cheese to sauce to everything else ratio. I love lasagna and I have been told I am an italian-american food making guru. I make a mean stuffed eggplant parmesan lasagna and a classic meat lasagna and now.... the herb pulled chicken and veggie white lasagna.
4-5 Trimmed Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Pkg. of Lasagna pasta
1 Container of Organic Chicken Stock
1 QT of Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup of Grated Romano Cheese
1 Half of a White Onion minced
2 Tbsp of Minced Garlic
2 Halved and sliced Zucchinis
1 Pkg. Baby Bella Mushrooms
About 1-2 Cups of Fresh Sautéed Spinach
1 Pt of Ricotta Cheese
1 Log of Fresh Mozzarella cut into small slices
1 Bag of Shredded Mozzarella
Ahead of making the lasagna, it would be optimal to prepare the pulled chicken. I prefer to just throw the raw cutlets into a crock pot for about an hour on med-high temperature with some minced garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and onion power.
Most people use water to prepare their pulled meats,
I like to go half and half with water and some all-natural broth.
I feel it brings out the flavor more and helps prevent the meat from drying out.
After the meat is mostly cooked, remove the cutlets and with two forks simply pull the meat and toss back into the crock pot until you are ready for it on keep warm.
This is the point when I would prep all the veggies, sauté them with olive oil and minced garlic.
A touch of salt, pepper and onion powder optional.
Then put the veggies all together and place aside for later.
Now boil the lasagna pasta and then strain. I like to rub a touch of olive oil on each sheet of pasta and then drape over the edge of the pot so they don't all stick together. This is kind of crucial.
Now after the prep is done, it is time to make the perfect creme sauce and a lot of it.
Again the best way to make it perfect is to keep tasting and adjusting.
So I always start my sauces with some minced onions and garlic in the pan, after they start to brown I add a dash of white wine and then a bit of the chicken stock and then the heavy creme.
I use a little more than half of the large container of creme with a little regular milk (1%, 2% or whatever you drink).
I usually turn up the temperature and stir frequently until it begins to rise up a little and thicken.
Then I throw in the cheese, some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, a dash of rosemary and some parsley. Stir. Taste and season accordingly.
After the sauce has thickened reduce the heat to low.
Now put the ricotta in a bowl with the egg, minced garlic, salt, pepper and mix it up until the egg is beaten in. Then put on the side.
Now for the most important step, the layering.
Obviously great ingredients are clutch, but it is in the layering that makes or breaks an awesome lasagna. Take a casserole dish or if you have a lasagna pan, even better.
Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with the cream sauce.
In a standard size dish three lasagna pastas should be the correct width across and they should slightly overlap. Then more sauce, and now as evenly as possible spread a layer of the ricotta cheese, then add a layer of pulled chicken and a sparse layer of the veggie mix.
Top that with some more sauce and then I like to place the small slices of mozzarella sparingly throughout because I want to assure I have enough for the top. I then add the shredded mozzarella to make the distribution more even.
Next, add the new layer of lasagna pasta, followed by sauce, ricotta cheese, veggies, more sauce, mozzarella cheese and then the next set of lasagna.
Follow this order, alternating between a veggie layer and a pulled chicken with a touch of vegetable layer. After the top layer of lasagna is in place, cover it in sauce, the rest of the mozzarella- both the fresh and the shredded. Then I like to put a little grated romano, parsley and paprika on the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25/35 minutes. Until the top look nice and melty and you are dying to devour the whole tray. Take it out to cool and let it set for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Then last and most importantly, pop a bottle of a nice white wine and Enjoy!