Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Butter Chicken
Comfort food with a twist!
Lasagna is one of my favourite comfort foods and with a little help from
Summer Fresh' new Butter Chicken Sauce
you will never think of dinner as being dull again!
When I make lasagna it is usually for a special occasion as it is a time consuming dish.
But special occasions warrant low and slow.

This Valentine I decide to make something very special, in the middle of the week!
No one has to know it didn't take all day
Indian food has become a big trend and I thought I would fuse my Italian favourites with a sauce that quite honestly, I would be at a loss trying to find the right ingredients and time in trying to make the famous Butter Chicken sauce.
Well with this new sauce from Summer Fresh the guessing is gone
and it's found in this 500ml container.
This Butter Chicken sauce has the subtle flavours of turmeric, the spice of curry and the smooth creaminess of butter and real cream.
This was a big hit with my family!
1 tub Butter Chicken sauce from Summer Fresh
12 chicken thighs, deboned and skin removed  *(time saver: 1/2 cooked roasted chicken, shredded)*
1 tub 400 ml ricotta
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 Japanese eggplant, peeled every other 1" strip, cut into 1/4" rounds
1/2 zucchini cut into 1/4" rounds
6 asparagus, washed, woody ends snapped off and cut into 2"-3" pieces
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
250 ml mozzarella,  shredded
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 375g box oven ready lasagna noodles
Add 2 heaping tbsp of sauce to the chicken and rub into the chicken.  Marinate for 2 hrs or overnight. *(If you do not have time for this step, shred 1/2 of a cooked roasted chicken, no extra sauce is needed at this stage)*
Bake in a 400F preheated oven for  40min.  or until meat can be shredded. This can be made 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.  Remove chicken from the oven and with two forks shred the meat. Set aside
Mix parsley into ricotta, add a pinch of salt and black pepper, set aside.
In a preheated skillet add 2 tbsp evoo, tip in vegetables and begin to cook on med. heat.
Add a pinch of salt, black pepper and pepper flakes to begin releasing moisture 
from the vegetables, stir regularly. Cook until vegetables begin to soften approx 10 min.  Spoon 2 tbsp Butter Chicken sauce into the pan and stir to mix.  Turn the heat off, they will continue to cook while they cool slightly.  Set aside
While vegetables and meat are cooking fill a large pot 3/4 full of salted water and bring to a boil.  Add 6 lasagna strips into the water. Gently press them down until they are completely submerged.  Move them around with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.  Cook for 2 min only to soften the noodle, so it is easier to work with.  Repeat the process.  Remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl filled with water.  This prevents sticking while you prepare for assembly.
I know what you're thinking why parboil noodles that state "oven ready"?  Although you do not have to boil them as long as regular noodles, I find this way, they are not ridged and do not soak up as much liquid as they would if you used them dry.
Drizzle a 9" x 12" casserole dish lightly with oil to prevent sticking.  Add 1 cup of broth or water to the remaining Butter Chicken sauce container and stir to mix. Pour approx. 3 tbsp of diluted sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish and spread to cover. 
Begin to place noodles next to each other covering the bottom of the casserole.  Try not to overlap as the noodle needs moisture and room to expand.
Begin to layer 1/3 of vegetables over noodles, then 1/3 of meat, 1/3 of ricotta , 1/4 of sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Continue repeating 2 more times, topping with one more layer of noodles, remaining sauce and mozzarella.
Bake covered with foil on the middle rack, in a preheated 350F oven for 1 hr. 
Remove foil after 50min.  Using a fork or spatula push the sides of noodles away from the dish and check for moisture.
If it is too dry add  some more water or broth. Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes to brown and crisp top.
Remove from oven and cover with foil, let rest for 15-20 min. to absorb all of the liquid.  This will allow the pasta to rest and set for easier cutting and serving.
Serves: 8
Enjoy with love!

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