This one is the family favorite, and a go to recipe when it comes to ease and taste. Liked by kids and grownups alike, I'm sure it will turn out to be a keeper once you try it. Basic, and at-home ingredients make this my any time stir-up meal.
Boneless chicken cubes drenched in saucy tomato gravy, topped with pasta of your choice covered up with a silky blanket of bechamel sauce, drizzled with mozarella cheese and baked to a light caramelized crust. Can be served warm or cold...taste is just.. lip smacking alike. If allowed to cool down and set overnight in the fridge, makes it easier to get those slices perfect. But again, ...Waiting is a hard thing!!
Generally served in a baking tray, I came up with this method, which turned out to be a crowd-pleaser with minimum efforts. Only addition to the method is just lining your loaf tin with aluminium foil so that you can serve a stylish bechamel slab on the plate and makes it easier to slice as well. (this step is optional)
Once the components are ready, here is the assembling part, spread half of the boiled pasta on the tray, pour half of the bechamel sauce on top and spread evenly to cover the pasta.
Now pour the saucy chicken mix over evenly to make a layer.
Top it up with another layer of the remaining pasta followed by the remaining bechmel sauce to cover it up completely.
Now sprinkle the mozzarella evenly and it is ready to go into that preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 mins .
Just out of the oven!!! Look at that light colored top...
Cool to room temperature. Invert it and gently peel off the aluminium foil.
Look at those yummy layers!! drizzle some fresh herbs, and we are good to go!!
- For the saucy chiken gravy:
- Chicken- 200 grms (boneless, cubed)
- Onion- 1 chopped
- Tomato- 3
- Garlic- 2
- Capsicum- 1 chopped
- Red chilly powder- 2 tsp
- Tomato Ketchup- 2 tbsp
- Black pepper powder- 1tsp
- Coriander leaves- chopped handful.
- Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
- Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
- Bay leaf- 1
- Salt to taste.
- Oil- 3-4 tbsp
- Mozarella- grated 1/2 -1 cup
- For the Bechamel Sauce:
- Butter- 4 tbsp
- All Purpose flour- 3 1/2 tbsp
- Milk- 3 cups
- For Pasta:
- Pasta- 2 cups
- Water for boiling
- Salt- 1 tsp
- Oil- 1 tsp.
- 1Boil water and add the pasta, salt and oil. Cook till done. Drain and refresh with cold water, keep aside.
- 2Wash the chicken cubes with a pinch of turmeric, keep aside.
- 3In a blender add, 3 roughly chopped tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 2 pc cardamom, 2 tsp red chilly powder and blend to a smooth puree.
- 4In a wok, heat oil, add the bay leaf, chopped onion, saute till onions soften. Add the turmeric, pepper powder, tomato ketchup and ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute.
- 5Add the ground tomato puree mixture, stir and cook till the mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides and appears saucy.
- 6Add the chicken cubes and cook for a minute. Add the chopped capsicum and cook till the chicken is done and water evaporates giving it a slightly dry texture. (we don't want a runny gravy, just dry and moist enough to hold itself in the loaf tray mould)
- To Make the Bechamel sauce:
- 1In a saucepan,On low heat, add 4tbs butter. When the butter is just about to melt completely, add the flour and keep stirring to avoid lumps. Stir for a minute , put off the flame and gently pour the milk, keep stirring to avoid lumps. Turn on the flame to low, and keep stirring till the sauce thickens to a cheesy consistency. Turn off the flame, preheat the oven and get ready to assemble.
(this sauce is tricky, you need to be quick and alert to avoid lumps, if it stiss comes up, then just cool it to room temp and blitz it to paste and use it)
- 1Take a loaf tin, line it with aluminium foil (lining with aluminium foil is optional, only if you want the bechamel to come out as a slab, you can assemble directly in the tray otherwise)
- 2Spread half of the pasta, pour half the bechamel sauce mix over it evenly. Top it with the saucy chicken mixture evenly to make a smooth layer. Top it up with the remaining pasta, spread it well. pour the remaining bechamel sauce on top to cover the pasta .Sprinkle the top generously with grated mozarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15- 20 mins. keep in top rack for 5 mins to give a burnt cheese look.
- 3Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting slices.(invert it on the serving dish and peel off the aluminium foil gently once cooled.)
Tip:Keeping the tray overnight in the fridge helps the layers to set and eases the slicing. Enjoy!!