Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chicken Lasagna

     This is a very easy and delicious lasagna recipe.  It is an interesting combination of Italian and Southwestern flavors but somehow it all comes together.  The celery adds a surprising crunch and the filling is very creamy.  It was a bit salty for my taste, next time I will use the low salt version of chicken bouillon.  I used one and a half 8 oz. packages of cream cheese and 12 sheets of the Barilla no boil lasagna, broken to fit in each layer.  It baked for 40 minutes in a 12 inch oven with 10 coals on the bottom and 20 on top.  I rotated every 15  minutes and added more coals during the last 10 minutes of cooking time to brown the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses I added for the topping.  Definitely let this sit for a good 30 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to be absorbed.  This is one dish that improves with age, the leftovers were almost better than the first day I made it.  I found this recipe at the Real Food for Real People website.

Chicken Lasagna
1 pkg. Lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (1 lb)
1 cup Chopped Onion
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. Margarine or Butter
2 cans/jars Spaghetti Sauce, any flavor (26 oz)
1/2 cup Water
1 can  Chopped Green Chilies, drained (4 oz)
1 tsp.  Ground Cumin
1 pkg.  Cream Cheese, softened (8 oz)
2 tsp. Chicken Flavor Instant Bouillon
3 cups Chopped Cooked Chicken
4 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
3/4 cup Chopped Celery

     In first Dutch oven, or on stove, over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in margarine until tender. Stir in pasta sauce, water, chilies and cumin. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
     In bowl, beat cream cheese with bouillon until fluffy. Stir in chicken, 1 cup mozzarella and celery. Generously grease second Dutch oven and in bottom, spread 3/4 cup sauce. Top with half each of the lasagna, chicken mixture, sauce and 1-1/2 cups mozzarella. Repeat layering, ending with pasta layer then sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Uncover. Top with remaining 1-1/2 cups mozzarella. Let sit for five minutes before serving.

Chicken and cheese layer

Ready for the coals

Hot and bubbly

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