Ingredients:

  • 9 lasagna noodles (plus extra for “breakage”insurance)
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • several cloves of garlic (how much is up to you!)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp+ salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups ricotta (I used the low fat variety)
  • 2+ cups of cooked, cubed chicken meat (1 used the meat from a whole rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 large bag of fresh baby spinach, plus maybe more according to your taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Roasted Garlic Prep:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the garlic cloves from the bulb, but do not peel them. Place cloves on cookie sheet that has a light olive oil coating. Lightly coat garlic cloves in olive oil.  Roast for 15 minutes or until garlic is soft. Allow garlic to cool and remove the skins.
De-stem about a bag (1 lb) of fresh baby spinach. Saute it briefly in about 1 Tbsp extravirgin olive oil until it is wilted down and tender but still bright green.

Remove both the dark and white meat from a rotisserie chicken and chop into pieces.  I wanted to use the dark as well as white meat to add a richer flavor and because it’s also not quite as dry.  Pour any of the pan drippings that are in the bottom of the container over the chopped meat and cover until ready to layer. You could definitely use any type of cooked chicken here, but seriously, the rotisserie chicken from the local supermarket is inexpensive, juicy, and flavorful…and a total time saver!

 

Béchamel sauce: Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion (and garlic if using raw garlic) in the butter until tender, stirring frequently.  Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth, wine, milk, and some black pepper and boil, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes.  If using roasted garlic, chop (smash) it up fine and add it now.  Stir in 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Season with basil, oregano, and more pepper and salt if you think it needs it.
Additional Prep.  Mix the 3 cups ricotta and drained spinach.  Add a little salt and pepper.  Boil the lasagna noodles in a large pot according to directions (about 9 minutes).  Drain and rinse with cold water so they won’t stick together.  I always make more noodles than I need because some always split or tear.
Assembly:   Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.   
Layer 1: Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, half the ricotta/spinach mixture, and half of the chicken. 
Layer 2:  Again add 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 sauce, remaining ricotta/spinach, remaining chicken, and half of remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
Layer 3:   Layer final layer of noodles, remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella, chopped parsley and remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.  Let it rest for at least 10 minutes.  Otherwise, you know how the story will end.  You’ll take out a piece and the cheese will run all over the place.  And that’s just not cute.
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