July 8, 2010

Chicken and Bacon-Stuffed Ravioli in Bechamel Sauce

I had planned to have ravioli for dinner tonight but I wanted to fill it with something different. While browsing Foodnetwork.com, I came across a recipe by Tyler Florence for ravioli filling that sparked my interest and gave me inspiration for this dish. I wanted a cream sauce to go with the ravioli, so I continued my search on Foodnetwork and came across Mario Batali's recipe for Bechamel sauce, which I have never made before. The combination of the cream sauce with the ravioli was divine. My husband, however, enjoyed it with his favorite sauce of Traditional Ragu. There are a lot of pots and pans involved in making this but I think the taste is worth them all!


Ingredients:

Ravioli Dough

  • 2 c flour PLUS extra for handling and rolling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c milk
Ravioli Filling

  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 c sherry wine (or chicken broth)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated paremesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Sauce

  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 c milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Directions:

  • Make the filling. Over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until it is crispy. Drain on papertowels and set aside. In the same skillet, add the chicken and brown it. Add the garlic and sherry. Season with bay leaves, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs, stirring and cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Remove bay leaves. Pulse together all ingredients (including the bacon) in a food processor including the drippings. Add egg, cream, parmesan and olive oil. Pulse again. Chill before filling the ravioli.
  • Make the ravioli dough. Combine all dough ingredients, flour, salt, egg and milk. Knead dough over lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a glass, cut circles out of the dough.
  • Assemble the ravioli. Place about 1 tbsp of filling in the middle of a circle and wet the edges of the dough with water. Place another circle on top and push down edges together. Seal with tines of a fork. Repeat until there are no circles remaining. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Make the sauce. Melt butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heating until it turns a light golden sandy color, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat milk in a separate pan until it is just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, sitrring constantly. Season with salt and nutmeg. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
  • While the sauce is cooking, boil water in a dutch oven. Place ravioli in boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring gently to avoid breaking. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon.
  • Pour the Bechamel sauce over the ravioli.
  • Enjoy!

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