prep time: 12 minutes cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes (see tip for a shortcut) yield: 10 servings
I ate my first bite of Chicken Cordon Bleu when I was seventeen, and it was love at first forkful. It was creamy and ever so flavorful. I thought that turning classic Chicken Cordon Bleu into a lasagna would make it an extra- comforting recipe!
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat, lard, or ghee
- 4 chicken leg quarters (about 3 pounds)
- 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup diced onions
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup chicken bone broth, homemade or store-bought
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 1½ ounces cream cheese (3 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup beef or chicken bone broth, homemade or store-bought
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large zucchini (about 10 inches long), trimmed and sliced lengthwise into
- ¼-inch planks
- 1 (4-ounce) package sliced Swiss cheese
- 1 (4-ounce) package thin-sliced ham
- To cook the chicken: Heat the bacon fat in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken leg quarters with the salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the hot fat and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown.
- Add the broth and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, until the chicken is almost falling off the bone.
- Remove the chicken legs from the pan and allow them to cool until you can handle them. Remove the skin (see note), then shred the meat and set it aside.
- To make the sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the cream cheese and broth and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the Swiss cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Layer the zucchini “noodles” in an 8-inch square casserole dish (you should have two stacked layers of noodles), then drizzle ½ cup of the sauce over the zucchini. Top the sauced zucchini with a layer of Swiss cheese slices, then a layer of ham slices. Layer the shredded chicken on top of the ham. Drizzle the rest of the sauce into the casserole dish. Top this with another layer of ham, then the rest of the cheese slices.
- Bake the lasagna for 20 minutes or until the zucchini is soft and the cheese is melted. Store extras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a baking dish in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
note: After removing the skin from the cooked chicken, don’t discard it! Save it to make the “crunchy rice” for Chicken “Wild Rice” Soup. You can always freeze chicken skin for later use.
busy family tip: To skip Steps 1 through 3 and shave about 1¼ hours off of the cooking time, replace the chicken leg quarters with a precooked clean-ingredient rotisserie chicken from the supermarket or leftover cooked chicken.