Cheese and Chicken Canneloni

Rick Cooks HomeCheese and Chicken Cannelloni

The other day, we went to a local Italian restaurant, and one of the specials was cannelloni (misspelled "canneloni"), and it had been a while since we had this dish, so Carol ordered it.

It was awful.

So I dug into my archives and pulled out one of our old favorites to undo the damage to our memories. In Italy, cannelloni is an elegant dish: small veal-stuffed stuffed crepes topped with a velvety white bechamel sauce. In the U.S., it's lasagne ingredients remolded into stuffed pasta tubes, frequently confused with the larger manicotti which are from southern Italy and use a tomato sauce.

This recipe uses lasagne noodles instead of crepes, but you can use crepes if you like (and have the time to make them). You can also use manicotti noodles, but you will have to adjust for the larger size yourself.

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Cheese and Chicken Cannelloni

*Serves 4*

1 lb chicken thighs
1 c dry white wine
2 chicken boullion cubes
1 bay leaf, halved
1/8 t pepper
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/3 c minced onion
1 egg
t tarragon, crumbled
c minced parsley
c half and half
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
8 lasagna noodles
3 T butter
2 T flour

Cover and heat the chicken, wine, boullion cubes, bay leaf and pepper to boiling. Simmer for 25 minutes or until tender. Discard the bay leaf and save the stock.

Remove bones from chicken and shred meat. Mix chicken with garlic, onion, egg, tarragon, 2 T parsley, 3 T half & half, and c of the cheese.

Cook the lasagna noodles. Drain. Cut crosswise in halves. Divide the filling onto the noodles, folding the noodles around. Place in a shallow baking dish.

Melt the butter and blend in the flour (making a roux). Stir in the reserved stock (about 1 cup) and the remaining half & half. Cook, stirring until the sauce is thick and comes to a boil. Mix in cup of the cheese.

Pour over pasta rolls. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and 2 T of parsley.

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes.