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Chicken and watercress lasagne


Serves: 6
timePrep time: 45 mins
timeTotal time:
Chicken and watercress lasagne
Photograph by Laura Edwards

Chicken and watercress lasagne


Serves: 6
timePrep time: 45 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
698Kcal
Fat
35gr
Saturates
19gr
Carbs
37gr
Sugars
5gr
Fibre
5gr
Protein
59gr
Salt
0.9gr

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes
Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium chicken (1.5kg-1.75kg)
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 75g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 x 500g pack trimmed leeks, sliced
  • 3 x 75g packs watercress
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 x 150ml carton single cream
  • 100g Gruyère, finely grated
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • a grating of fresh nutmeg
  • 1 x 250g pack fresh lasagne sheets

Step by step

Get ahead
The lasagne can be fully assembled the day before. The cooked and cooled lasagne can also be frozen.
  1. Discard the bindings from the chicken, and remove any fat from the cavity. Place in a large pan with the celery, onion, carrot and bay leaves so that it fits snugly, and season. Pour over 3-4 litres of cold water – the chicken should be fully covered, so you may need a bit more depending on the size of your pan. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum, and then simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave to stand for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a lidded saucepan. Stir in the leeks, season and cook, covered, for
    15 minutes or until soft. Tip the watercress into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Stir around for 1 minute until wilted, then drain, refresh with cold water and squeeze dry. Chop roughly.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan, reserving the stock (strain and skim off any fat). Leave the chicken until cool enough to handle, then remove the skin and strip the chicken meat from the carcass. Tear into bite-sized pieces; transfer to a bowl.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. To make the sauce, melt 75g butter in a large saucepan and tip in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually blend in 900ml of the poaching stock. Bring the sauce to the boil, stirring until thickened. Simmer for 7-10 minutes then add the cream and half the Gruyère. Stir until smooth and add lemon juice, nutmeg and seasoning to taste. Measure out 300ml of the sauce into a measuring jug and set aside, then add the watercress to the sauce in the pan.
  5. Add the leeks to the bowl with the chicken, season and mix well. Lightly grease a 24cm x 30cm baking dish. Pour a third of the watercress sauce into the base of the dish and top with 2 sheets of lasagne. Add half of the chicken and leek mixture, then half of the remaining watercress sauce, then place 2 more lasagne sheets on top, followed by the chicken, leeks and the rest of the watercress sauce. Top with the remaining lasagne sheets and then pour over the reserved cream sauce. Scatter with the rest of the Gruyère.
  6. Place the lasagne dish on a baking tray and cook for 45 minutes until crisp and golden brown on top, with the lasagne sheets tender to the point of a knife or skewer. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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