I’ve been known to finagle recipes out of a few restaurant chefs, but it’s not an easy task. Most chefs guard their recipes and aren’t too keen on sharing.
A few years back, however, at a small Italian restaurant in southern New Mexico, I hit it big with a recipe for the chef’s signature dish for Green Chile Chicken Lasagna. Initially the chef said no but then he weakened and met me halfway with the ingredient list.
He swore me to secrecy as to its origin, but with the passing years, I’ve sliced it, diced it, and used convenient ingredients to the point that it’s probably safe to share the recipe with others. Dinner doesn’t get much better when you serve this lasagna with a tossed green salad and chilled white wine.
Green Chile Chicken Lasagna
2-15 ounce jars Classico 4-cheese Alfredo, or Classico Alfredo with Sun-dried Tomato
2-16 ounce boxes oven-ready lasagna sheets
3 to 4 cups chicken breasts, poached or grilled without seasoning, diced
1-16 ounce container ricotta cheese
1-16 to 24 ounce bag shredded mozzarella cheese, (reserve 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups diced green chilies, canned or fresh roasted
Sliced olives, optional
Mushrooms, cooked and drained, optional
2 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9”x13” lasagna pan with cooking spray. Begin layering the lasagna in the pan with enough Alfredo sauce to coat bottom of pan. Cover Alfredo with dry lasagna noodles; then layer one-third of the chicken, ricotta, mozzarella cheese and green chilies. There should be enough ingredients to make 3-layers. Sliced olives and mushrooms folded into the layers are optional.
With layered ingredients in place, gently pour chicken broth over the completed pan of lasagna layers (it may not require the full 2 cups). Top with reserved mozzarella cheese. Cover tightly with foil around edges of pan but loose in the center so cheese doesn’t peel off onto the foil when it’s removed (creating a tent with the foil is ideal).
Bake for about 25 minutes; remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-40 minutes, depending on your oven. I often bake it for nearly an hour. If it begins to dry out on top, and it’s still not done in the center, place an aluminum foil tent over it until the noodles are soft and have absorbed most of the liquid. When the noodles have absorbed the moisture and the cheese melted, the lasagna is ready to eat. Remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it so pieces will hold their shape. Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Cook’s Note: The original way of making this lasagna was to use the 4-cheese Classico Alfredo, then I discovered it was good, too, with a hint of sun-dried tomato so I used the Classico Alfredo with Sun-dried Tomato, which gives it a touch more pizzazz and blends well with the chilies. Either Alfredo is delicious. All the ingredients in this recipe are adjustable to your family’s taste. Enjoy!