Back in the day, when mom and I subscribed to that low-fat, high protein life, one of our go-to recipes was chicken cacciatore. I still love it. And now that I’m on the ketogenic diet, it’s not that I CAN’T have it, I can, but I would have to have a small helping of it slathered in cold olive oil or something and basically make up for the amount of protein and carbs through insanely careful dieting throughout the rest of the day.
Listen. I’m coming up on 30. I’m too old for that kinda self control and monitoring. So instead, I’ve found a way to win. I call this a lasagna, but to me, a lasagna requires multiple layers of patterned ingredients, and I was way too lazy to do something like that when I slapped this goodness together. While “Chicken Cacciatore Glorified Casserole” is probably a more appropriate title, I think it sounds SO much classier as a lasagna. 😀
Chicken Cacciatore Lasagna
- 1 lb shredded chicken (I use rotisserie chicken, you can use whatever)
- 6 large bell peppers, any color or combination of colors, chopped into 1″ (-ish) square (-ish) pieces
- 1 jumbo white or yellow onion, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of thyme (or one big fat one)
- 1/4 c ghee (or other high heat tolerant oil)
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
- a couple rinds of Parmesan, Locatelli, Asiago, or other Italian hard cheese (or any combination of Italian hard cheeses)
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lbs whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 lb whole milk mozzarella cheese
- 2 lb eggs
- 2/3 c chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 c chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tbs fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tbs garlic powder
- 1 tbs onion powder
- Salt on salt on salt
- Heat ghee in a medium, heavy bottomed skillet over medium low heat. Once melted, toss in the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs. Keep the heat on the lower side, shuffle that around so it’s all nice and buttery and lovely, then cover, and stir occasionally until they’re translucent and slightly blonde in color (as pictured to the right of this step). Add the can of crushed tomato and allow to cook for an additional maybe 15 or 20 minutes, just to bring the flavors together and cook the tomatoes a bit, then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Take out two medium mixing bowls. In one, toss the shredded chicken and about 3/4 of the tomato mix. If you’re an unfeeling beast, toss all this with your bare hands to coat the chicken, but if you’re a normal person who still possesses the human ability to feel heat in your fingers, use a spoon or something. In the next bowl, use a whisk to beat the eggs, ricotta, chopped herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and a teaspoon of salt until incorporated and smooth.
- Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish or one of those handy-dandy aluminum lasagna pans you can get at Shop Rite for under $3.00, and lay down half of the chopped bell peppers. Dump all of that beautiful chicken and tomato mixture over that, and pat it down into one thick, gorgeous layer of awesome. Pile on THAT the ricotta mix, top that with 3/4 of the shredded mozzarella, and top with the remaining bell peppers. Finish with the remaining mozzarella and drizzle with the last of the tomato sauce.
- Tear a piece of foil that’s a good 2 inches longer than the top of the pan and grease one side. Greased side down, cover the pan with the foil, tuck it in all nice and snug, and poke a couple vents in it with a fork. (Boop, boop; one at one end, one at the other.) Bake at 400 for about 45 minutes, then remove foil, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid and brown up the top a bit.
- Let the finished lasagna sit about 15 minutes before cutting into it and serving.