We believe that lasagna is so much more than just noodles, sauce and cheese. It’s a technique, a way of life and a devotion to the transformative properties of comfort food. When you combine the earthy, mellow flavor of eggplant with universally pleasing freshly roasted chicken in this way, the result is a dish that’s perfect to feed a crowd or for freezing in batches to treat your future self to a great dinner.
This recipe from Aussie Renaissance man/hunter and gatherer Rohan Anderson recommends using a rooster, since they’re relatively unpopular/not necessary in the backyard chicken movement. But feel free to use a hen.
- 1 whole chicken, quartered
- 1 box lasagna pasta
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 3 eggplants
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 large handful basil, chopped
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
- 20 ounces ricotta cheese
- 24 ounces passata (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- pine nuts
- olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise and grill on a griddle pan with a generous splash of olive oil for each slice. When done set aside to cool.
- In a large pot, heat some olive oil and brown the chicken pieces for a few minutes on each side, but don’t cook them through. Once done, set aside.
- In the same pot, heat some olive oil and add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for a good while until they are softened and have changed color. Add the wine and cook out.
- When the wine is almost all cooked out, return the chicken and add the passata and garlic.
- Cook until the meat falls from the bone. Depending on the age and type of bird this will take from 40-60 minutes.
- Remove the pieces of chicken and scrape the meat off the bone. Return the meat to the pot and discard the bones. Add the basil.
- Allow the chicken mix to cool to room temperature. At the same time, cook the lasagna pasta al dente.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl stir the ricotta, cheddar and Parmesan until completely mixed.
- Using a large baking dish, ladle out a layer of the chicken ragu, then a layer of grilled eggplant, then lasagna, then cheese. Repeat this process for at least three levels.
- On top of the last layer, grate over plenty of cheddar and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over some pine nuts.
- Bake covered with a lid or aluminum foil for 30 minutes then remove the cover and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown up top.
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