For me, Lasagna is one of those dishes that I absolutely love, but that I never want to make because it’s too much schlep. I love the idea of it, but I hate being in the kitchen for long. BUT, every once in a while, I don’t mind it too much but, like I’ve always said, if I’m in the kitchen for more than an hour, it better be worth it. And this definitely was. It takes a bit more effort than normal lasagna because I poached the chicken thighs before adding them to the tomato sauce. But if you want, you could just use chicken mince and do it the normal way.
This turned out to be quite a low-fat, almost gluten-free lasagna since I didn’t have any flour to make a bechamel sauce with. And you can’t do lasagna without bechamel. So I dumped 1 litre of milk and 500ml chicken stock into a pot and added 3tbsn cornflour mixed with some cold water to it. A thick, flavourful sauce was achieved in 5 minutes and I didn’t even miss the taste of the oodles of butter and cream I usually use. You could obviously make the Bechamel the normal way but this is quite a good way of saving time and cutting out a lot of the calories. If you want to make this completely gluten-free, look for some gluten-free lasagna sheets next time you go shopping.
1kg chicken thighs, poached and skin and bones removed
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2tsp crushed garlic
6 tomatoes, finely chopped (or use 1 can of chopped tomatoes with 2tbsn tomato paste)
2 Bay leaves
1tsp thyme leaves
For the white sauce/bechamel:
1l low fat milk
500ml chicken stock
3tbsn cornflour mixed with a few tbsn cold water
12 lasagna sheets
2 cups grated cheddar/mozzarella
- In a large saucepan, fry the onion, carrot and celery together until soft and starting to brown.
- Add the garlic and bay leaves and fry for another minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme and sugar and lower the heat. Cover and allow to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Finely chop the chicken and add it to the sauce.
- For the bechamel, heat the milk and chicken stock in a saucepan and add the cornflour mix. Allow to thicken gently.
- To assemble, spoon some of the bechamel sauce in a greased, oven proof dish and follow with a layer of lasagna. Spoon over some of the chicken sauce and continue layering the bechamel, lasagna and chicken sauce, finishing with a layer of bechamel. Sprinkle over the cheese and pop into the oven. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 180°C until a knife can be inserted without any resistance from the lasagna sheets.
- Allow to stand for 10 minutes so everything can settle.