Let's break away from the traditional italian lasagna recipe with meat and tomato sauce, there are infinite variations you can create according to your preferences, tastes and desires: fish, seafood, vegetarian lasagna with tomato sauce, or béchamel ricotta and the list goes on ... As for this recipe, we have here a simple lasagna that is both delicious and brings a nice change from those other recipes that we know that use red meat: this recipe is based on minced chicken and diced carrots cooked in a sauce made with white wine and thyme, then coated with a creamy bechamel, all arranged between the lasagna noodles before proceeding to baking. This lasagna is both easy and really quick to make, while still being refined and original.
For 6 persons:
Approximately 10 no-boil lasagna noodles
1.5 lb. boneless chicken breasts or thighs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried thyme spice
Salt and pepper
4 oz. butter
6 Tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
1/2 cup 15% cream
1 cube dry chicken stock
1 pinch nutmeg, salt, pepper; to your taste
Freshly grated Gruyere cheese (half a cup)
I-Prepare the chicken with thyme
Using a large sharp knife, chop the chicken. Peel and cut carrots into small cubes; finely chop the onions. In a pan, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil then sauté the minced chicken, the chopped onions and the diced carrots. Mix well until everything is cooked. Then add the tomato paste, the thyme, salt, pepper and mix.
Pour the white wine over and 3/4 cup of water. Simmer half-covered for about twenty minutes: the sauce will reduce properly without drying completely.
II-The béchamel sauce
Meanwhile, prepare the bechamel: Melt the butter in the pan then pour in the flour. Mix slowly until the sauce becomes a roux, stirring constantly. Gradually pour the milk over, beating constantly with a whisk to avoid lumps, add chicken broth, the cream and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Beat a few more minutes until the chicken stock has dissolved into the bechamel and that the sauce has become smooth. Reduce until this sauce becomes thick enough, since we want our lasagna to hold together. Reserve.
III-Assembling the lasagna
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease up a medium sized lasagna pan with the last tablespoon of olive oil. Pour 4-5 tablespoons of bechamel sauce at the bottom of the dish and then place 2 to 4 uncooked lasagna noodles at the bottom of the pan, pour half the chicken mixture over, then pour generous amounts of white sauce over, sprinkle with half of the grated parmesan and then repeat the process again with another layer.
IV-To the oven!
With the oven already preheated, bake the lasagna for about 25-30 minutes.
Ten minutes before the end of baking time, sprinkle your lasagna with the remaining freshly grated gruyère cheese, finish baking the lasagna. When the lasagna is ready give it 15 minutes to cool down.