It’s quite a lot of work, but I think this is nicer, and summerier than the standard beef mince version. It’s good with a watercress salad, or also the peppery-pea salad

for ten (it’s not really worth making for less)

1.8 litres/3 pints/7½ cups white sauce:

  • 150g/6 oz butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • twenty grinds of white pepper and some salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • fifteen grinds of nutmeg
  • 3 stock cube
  • 1.8 litres/3 pints/7½ cups of milk
  • 3 banana shallots
  • 9 tbsp (135ml) single cream (it’s not a disaster if you don’t have any of this to hand)

 

  • 500g/1 lb 2 oz lasagne sheets
  • 250g/9 oz mozzarella
  • 250g/9 oz grated cheddar,  plus an extra 100g to put on the top

 

chicken sauce:

  • flesh of two small roast chickens (or this is a very good way of using up leftover chicken)
  • 200g diced pancetta or bacon
  • 8 oz/225g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • grated zest of two lemons
  • thyme – good handful
  • 1 red onion peeled and chopped
  • olive oil to fry

 

  1. preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. in a large casserole fry the pancetta/bacon and the onion, remove

make the white sauce:

  1. put the bay leaves, milk, shallot, and nutmeg into a saucepan, cover and leave to infuse for about 30 minutes – or an hour if you have the time.
  2. in another saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. cook this mix (roux) for about three minutes – don’t let it go brown.
  3. strain the milk a little at a time through a sieve into the roux – STIR WELL AFTER EACH ADDITION OF MILK OR IT WILL GO LUMPY!
  4. bring it to the boil, stirring ALL THE TIME, and simmer for about three minutes
  5. add salt, pepper and the cream
  6. mix the chicken sauce ingredients in with two thirds of the white sauce
  7. then layer:
  8. chicken sauce in the bottom
  9. then mozzarella/cheddar
  10. then lasagne
  11. then chicken sauce again
  12. then mozzarella/cheddar again
  13. then more lasagne
  14. then the rest of the white sauce
  15. then sprinkle on cheddar cheese
  16. put in oven for forty minutes, and if the cheese needs a bit more temperature to get golden turn the oven up, or move to the roasting oven for five minutes or so

 

Don’t worry if it’s a bit wet when you put it into the oven, the lasagne soaks up a lot of the moisture.

 

This post is dedicated to Felicity Daniell 

 

chicken lasagne

chicken lasagne

 

 

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