Chicken Lasagna – چکن لزانیہ

IMG_6874 copy“When the lasagna content in my blood gets low, I get mean”  these famous words by Garfield fit my son perfectly. I say this as no joke but he really really has lasagna blood levels, it worries me a little bit but oh well…

I’ll divulge our story today, because there is a story. Our first meeting transpired around ten years ago, I worked hard and tried and tested many recipes. With lots of ups and downs, first we became friends and then besties. Finally I was a proud home cook and made the perfect lasagna, it had all the original Italian flavors, I was happy and served it to my family. But like every amazing love story there is a twist in the tale(dramatic music). My one and only son let’s call him Garfield, he didn’t like it. I was heart-broken. I went back in the kitchen and created my very own, something I knew my son would be infatuated with. I don’t lie when I say this but it was the best thing I ever did. Now its my most requested and loved recipe. It’s a fusion between the Italian and Pakistani flavors so it is a bit spicy but you can adjust the seasonings according to your taste.

IMG_6822 copyTo give you some background, Lasagna is a traditional Italian food that has been around since the 13th century. The most famous lasagna is the Bolognese kind, but the dish in itself is very versatile. There is a multitude of variations on the construction, from the the base to the filling.The number of layers varies, but the perfect number is five.

I’ll explain the recipe step by step so it’s easy to understand, and execute.

Serves: 6-8

Preparing the Chicken:

IMG_6835 copyINGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg boneless chicken,small cubes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic,finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Marinade this chicken in all the ingredients listed above, for about one hour.
  2. Throw the chicken in a pan and fry on high heat for about 2 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat on medium and cover the pan, let the chicken cook for another 5 minutes. We don’t need to add any extra liquid as the chicken will release its own juices.
  4. If it’s still not ready add 1/4th cup of water at this stage and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Once the liquid is gone turn the stove off. The chicken should be juicy and not too tough.
  6. Cover and keep aside.

Lasagna sheets and vegetables:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pack lasagna sheets, cook according to package directions
  • 1 green bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olives, green/black, chopped

Keep these ingredients ready for the next step.

Red Sauce:

Also called the pasta sauce or just basic tomato sauce. I love to add a little kick to it and prepare it from scratch. Makes everything so much better!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion. chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of thyme,oregano and basil

METHOD:

  1. Peel all the tomatoes and blend in a  blender. Keep them a little bit chunky.
  2. In a pan heat the olive oil and throw in the onions, saute for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and the crushed red chilli flakes and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil and thyme.
  5. Cook for about ten minutes or until the tomatoes turn into a thick sauce.
  6. Keep aside.

White sauce:

IMG_6841 copyINGREDIENTS:

  • 150 gm butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp flour, heaped
  • 2-4 cups milk
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • A pinch of oregano, basil and thyme.

METHOD:

  1. Pour butter in a pan and add the flour and mix well.
  2. Now turn the stove on low to medium heat and saute for 2-3 minutes. Take it off the heat when fragrant.
  3. Add 2 cups milk and mix quickly with a whisker to avoid forming any lumps. Place it back on the heat. You can add more milk milk if needed.
  4. Mix in the salt, black pepper, crushed red chilli flakes, oregano, basil and thyme.
  5. Turn the heat on low. Throw in the cream and mix well. This is a thick sauce so make sure that it’s not too runny.
  6. Keep aside.

Assembling the monster:

IMG_6844 copyINGREDIENTS:

  • All things we prepared above
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • paprika

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven on 180°C.
  2. Grease your baking tray/oven-proof dish.
  3. Gather all the things we have prepared and place them in front of you for easy and quick assembling.
  4. On the bottom of the pan spread a little bit of the white sauce. Place the lasagna sheets.
  5. Spread the chicken, then the two chopped bell peppers and olives, the red tomato sauce and finally the white sauce and then lasagna sheet again. Repeat this until you get to the final layer.
  6. The final layer has no sheet on top after we put in all the fillings instead spread the white sauce liberally and sprinkle the cheddar cheese all over.
  7. Sprinkle a bit of paprika and bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle a bit of dried parsley before serving, serve hot from the oven.

Tips:

  1. If you are using the no-bake lasagna sheets make sure the sauce covers the sheets well so that it cooks properly.
  2. If using regular sheets then stop cooking a bit before they are al dente as we will be baking this too.
  3. You can assemble your lasagna ahead of time and store uncooked in the fridge overnight, or you can freeze it to cook later.
  4. If you are going for a healthier version you can skip adding the cream but it won’t taste as good:)

IMG_6872 copyI know I add a lot of butter, cream and cheese, but then again it’s Lasagna folks! In case you are counting calories this probably isn’t the recipe for you but maybe you can just have a small slice. Also I add two sauces and I found that this works well with all the flavors I’m trying to infuse. Let’s not wait any further and dig in…

Aa jao bachon “Lasagna” tayyar hai !!!!

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30 thoughts on “Chicken Lasagna – چکن لزانیہ

  1. The things us mothers do to please our kids. MashAllah your children are blessed to have you as their mother!
    This lasagna looks and sounds wonderful mA! And lovely photos as usual my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Farheen, my daughters help me alot with the photography, I’m still learning. Well, my kids are my first food critics and getting them to leave all their gadgets and come at the table aisay hi cheekhain marni perti hain 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

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