Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chicken Florentine Lasagna

With each day that passes, I'm loving how gluten free living has become easier and easier. Many folks have commented or asked me how I manage with gluten intolerance/sensitivity and surprisingly, it's not as hard or challenging as some folks may think. These days, there are so many gluten free options and alternatives to popular gluten laden foods. Pasta is a great example. I can have pretty much any kind of pasta I want in gluten free form {made from rice, corn, quinoa or other gf ingredients.} If you followed me prior to my gluten intolerance/sensitivity, you'll know how much I love pasta, especially lasagna. Thankfully I scored at the local Whole Foods when rice lasagna sheets were on sale - I stocked up big time! I can now make lasagna like I used to in gluten free form and the most recent one I made was this Chicken Florentine Lasagna. Layers of a creamy cheese sauce, lasagna noodles, spinach, mushroom and chicken come together in this comforting dish that just hits the spot...

Chicken Florentine is a popular dish that incorporates chicken, spinach and sometimes mushrooms. Together, these ingredients work well so why not turn the dish into a lasagna?! It's a wonderful twist on the classic meat and cheese lasagna slathered in red sauce.This lasagna has its fair share of richness but what I really like about it is the way the flavors and textures really compliment each other. The original recipe used sun dried tomatoes instead of mushrooms, but I thought mushrooms were closer to a traditional Chicken Florentine dish. Feel free to try this with the sun dried tomatoes if you're not a fan of mushrooms...


Chicken Florentine Lasagna
recipe adapted from Sargento

1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour {or GF flour blend or any GF flour}
3 tablespoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups milk
2 cups (15 oz.) whole milk ricotta cheese
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 pound lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
3 cups (12 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
 

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and saute until softened and cooked through. Stir in flour, basil, salt, pepper and nutmeg until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Heat to a boil over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in Ricotta cheese until blended. Stir in spinach, then chicken.

Spread 1 cup Ricotta mixture in bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan. Layer 3 lasagna noodles over sauce. Top with one-third remaining Ricotta sauce, 1 cup Mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers of lasagna noodles, Ricotta sauce and cheeses. Top with remaining lasagna noodles and Ricotta sauce.

Cover with foil; bake in preheated 375°F oven 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with remaining Mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.