Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagna

L.A. can’t seem to make up its mind—iced tea season or soup and lasagna season, hotcoldhotcold often on the same day—but a few weeks ago we had perfect lasagna weather. An authentic October chill in the air. A reason (finally!) to wear a sweater. So I did the only thing to be done: try a new lasagna recipe. It’s becoming an annual autumn tradition, with my favorite so far being Roasted Portobello Mushroom and Prosciutto Lasagna. Last year’s Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagna comes in third (although it gets extra points for originality), and this year’s yummy offering, with its rich wine-and-cheese sauce, takes second place.

While this chicken lasagna was so good that my niece had three helpings (no leftovers this time around) and my mom immediately asked for the recipe, I include it here with great heaviness in my heart, as it is from Gourmet, which is shutting down this month. I still have the last two issues set aside. I haven’t read them yet and won’t until I’m in dire need of a Gourmet fix. In the meantime, I’ll cook from the stash of recipes I’ve been cutting out over the years and hope that I have complied enough to see me into old age.

Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagna
Gourmet, March 2009


- 1 (10-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 roast chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 12 no-boil egg lasagne noodles (less than a 9-ounce package)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (3 ounces)

Equipment: an 8-inch square baking pan


  1. Preheat oven to 425° with rack in middle.

  2. Cook mushrooms, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add wine and simmer briskly 2 minutes.

  4. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl and stir in chicken. (Set aside saucepan.)

  5. Bring milk to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan.

  6. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat.

  7. Add flour and cook roux, whisking constantly, 3 minutes.

  8. Add hot milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly.

  9. Add thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes.

  10. Remove from heat and reserve 1 cup sauce.

  11. Stir parmesan into sauce remaining in pan, then stir into mushroom filling.

  12. Pour half of reserved plain sauce into baking pan, spreading evenly to coat bottom.

  13. Add 3 lasagne sheets, overlapping slightly, and one third of mushroom filling, spreading evenly, then sprinkle one fourth of Gruyère over top.

  14. Repeat 2 times.

  15. Top with remaining 3 lasagne sheets and remaining plain sauce, spreading evenly.

  16. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyère.

To Cook:
Cover with foil, tenting slightly to prevent foil from touching top of lasagne but sealing all around edge, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 10 minutes before serving.