Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chicken & Cheese Manicotti

Another recipe using ricotta.  You would think that by now we would have gotten sick of the stuff.  Honestly though, I think each of the recipes was different enough that we didn't.  We often have stuffed shells or manicotti as a first course at my cousin's house for dinner every Christmas Eve.  I've never made either though until now.  I had picked up some manicotti shells and was looking for a recipe that didn't use a red sauce.  I found this recipe and went for it. Unfortunately, I never have left over chicken, so when making a recipe like this, I need to first cook a couple of chicken breasts to have the cooked chicken needed.  This is another NOT a quick and easy weeknight dinner.  Lots of prep work and then a half hour cooking time.  It was definitely tasty though and I'm glad I was able to try cooking something new.  The kids had a little bit (or more like my daughter had a little bit my son just looked at it!) but weren't big fans. 

Chicken & Cheese Manicotti
recipe slightly adapted from Cooking during Stolen Moments

1 box manicotti, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water
1/2 lb. chicken fully cooked and cubed
15 oz. container ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon Penzys Pasta Sprinkle
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided

1. In a large bowl combine chicken, ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese and seasonings.

2. Stir to combine and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Whisk in chicken stock and milk.  Bring to a slow boil until thickened slightly, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

4. Pour half of sauce into 13x9 casserole dish.  Fill manicotti with chicken and ricotta filling. 

5. Layer filled manicotti into the casserole dish.  Pour remaining sauce on top and then add remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up. 

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