Brrr... it's cold out there!! If you had "the snow" this weekend, hope you got through it ok. Don't know about you, but frigid temps like these make me crave serious comfort food. And this Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagne seriously fits the bill. It's just what you want to come home to on a cold winter night!!
I feel sort of bad since i've been holding out on you for weeks with this recipe and if I were me, I'd be kinda mad at me, because this is just the sort of family pleasing recipe I'd want to have in my arsenal (especially cause it can be made ahead or even frozen) and was beloved by all members of my crew (my boys were home then and gave it the thumbs up too!) so pretty please say you don't hate me for the delay. "Cause unless you have an insanely busy night tonight (and I totally get it if that's the case) I swear you can make this for dinner tonight, even though it's a Monday. This is not your slave-over-it-all-day-kind-of-traditional-lasagne, No sir! You can even use leftover or rotisserie chicken here, so it's little more than sauteing some mushrooms, making a simple white sauce and assembling the whole thing.
Speaking of mushrooms--if they aren't your thing, you're probably going to want to think about making something else for dinner tonight because every bite is filled with tender mushrooms (and chicken and cheese and pasta of course too). To me it's absolutely delish, but if your palette (or your family's) has little love for the funghi, you might want to go with the Lasagne Roll-Ups or this Roasted Veggie Lasagne instead.
If you do make this mushroom and chicken version though, I promise that with each forkful you'll get creamy chicken and mushrooms, tender pasta and crunchy crusty melted cheese. So, so good--wish I had some right now. Do yourself a favor and make this asap!! It's serious comfort-food time people!!
Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagne
Makes one 8-inch square tray of lasagne--enough to serve at least 6 people
Prep Time: 35 minutes; Bake Time: 45-50 minutes
- 10 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced (to save time buy them already sliced)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 shakes black pepper
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- About 2 1/2 cups leftover chicken shredded (can be from a rotiserrie chicken or roast a couple of boneless breast and shred when cooled)
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk (you can use lower fat milk too, it'll just be a little less creamy)
- 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 12 no-boil egg lasagne-noodles
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyére (about 3 ounces and you can sub in swiss if you like)
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF (make sure the rack is in the middle). Set aside an 8x8-inch baking pan.
2. Into a 4-quart heavy saucepan, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat and then add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper and let cook for about 3 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the mushrooms have softened. Add the wine or broth and let simmer for about 2 minutes so that the liquid reduces a bit. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the shredded chicken. Do not wash out the pot.
3. In a separate medium saucepan, bring the milk to a bare simmer. Meanwhile, in the same pot you used for Step 2, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk the mixture constantly for about 3 minutes, In a slow steady stream, add the hot milk, whisking constantly. Season with a bit more salt and pepper and let simmer, whisking occasionally for another 5-6 minutes until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat and set aside about 1 cup of the sauce. Into the rest of the sauce in the pot, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Then, stir the entire mixture into the large bowl containing the mushrooms and chicken.
4. Pour half of the 1 cup of reserved white sauce onto the bottom of the pan, spreading it out evenly. Add 3 lasagne sheets (it's ok if they overlap) and top them with about 1/3 of the mushroom mixture. Spread it out evenly and sprinkle with about 1/4 of the Gruyére. Add 3 more lasagne sheets (going the other direction) and top with more mushroom mixture and more cheese. Repeat with remaining pasta and mixture. Then top it all off with the remaining reserved white sauce and the rest of the Gruyére.
5. Cover with foil, but tent it a bit to make sure it doesn't stick to the top of the lasagne, but still make sure the edges are sealed. Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is all melted and golden. Let lasagne sit for about 10 minutes before serving (this helps to keep it from falling apart.)
6. Lasagne can be made all the way through Step 4 and then covered and chilled up to one day ahead. Bring to room temperature and continue with Step 5 (if you cook it cold, it will probably need more oven time).
Note: Recipe adapted from a very old issue of Gourmet Magazine.