Sunday, April 18, 2010

Words You Don't Hear Together

Three words that aren't typically heard together: Crockpot, buffalo, lasagna. No, really. If you are already repulsed, you are a weinie. Trust me, although you don't hear these things together, they taste so delicious together!
I love using my crockpot and since I am partially lazy and partially just don't have time, I have been relying on it a lot lately. This blog is fantastic if you ever want any crockpot recipe under the sun:

I wasn't looking for any recipe in particular when I went searching and I don't recall how I found this one. When I did find it, I knew I had to make it. One of Jason's favorite foods is buffalo wings. I wasn't sure how he would feel about incorporating those flavors into lasagna, but I didn't care. I have a fondness for pasta and he has a fondness for buffalo wings, so it's truly the best of both worlds in my mind.

Things that I did while making this:

* I prepped most everything on Saturday night. I precooked the chicken, cut it and mixed it with the sauces. The peppers got cut and the cheese got pre-measured. This made it very very easy to throw together this morning.

* I used Frank's Red Sauce in the buffalo style for the sauce.

* I used one each of the red, yellow and orange peppers. I thought it be really pretty, plus they came in a nifty package together at the grocery store for less money than buying them individually.

* When I was assembling the recipe, I made three layers, starting with the sauce. I was too lazy to make four and I thought three would be enough to hold together the ingredients.

* I bought pre-crumbled blue cheese. See laziness comment above. I also used more than 1/2 cup. You can't really have too much cheese can you?

This smelled AMAZING while it was cooking. My mouth was watering all day waiting for this to be finished. I was so tempted to eat dinner early just so I could taste it.

It tasted just as delicious as it smelled. I was surprised that with the amount of buffalo sauce that it wasn't spicier. It did have a nice slow burn to it, but nothing that would need antacids or a glass of milk. My only complaint is that I should have let it rest longer than 20 minutes. It still fell apart. It certainly didn't affect the taste, it just looked messy. You can see that by the picture.

Jason loved this! He made the comment "You can make this again", which means I have succeeded. He only reserves that statement when he really likes a recipe.

Look how beautiful this looks when assembled and before cooking:

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
from: A Year of Slow Cooking

uncooked traditional lasagna noodles
4 already cooked chicken breast halves
jar of prepared pasta sauce
1 cup buffalo wing sauce
3 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
tub of ricotta cheese (15 oz)
2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican or cheddar/mozzarella blend)
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup of water (add at the very end)

1. Use at least a 5 qt. crockpot, or cut back on the ingredients.

2. In a large glass bowl, combine cooked and chopped chicken breast, the pasta sauce and 1 cup of buffalo wing sauce.

3. Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your crockpot. Cover with a layer of the lasagna noodles. You'll have to break them to get them to fit.

4. Add a smear of ricotta cheese to the top of the noodles. Add a layer of chopped bell pepper. Sprinkle a handful of shredded cheese.

5. Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients.

6. Add the blue cheese crumbles. Put the 1/4 cup of water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna.

7. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5. When cooking time is complete, unplug and take the lid off of the crock. Let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting into it.

So, it's messy, but it's delicious!