Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

And I'm back. Hubby's surgery basically didn't work out and so now he will start treatment for the cancer. And life goes on. Cooking and working on this blog is good therapy for me so I'm going to get back to work here.

I've decided to change things around a little. Nothing huge. I have just decided I should give the recipes names. Looking for specific recipes should not be a treasure hunt (although I think these are treasures). Through the coming weeks I will go back and edit my posts to reflect the names of the dishes I am posting. Sound like a plan?

Today's dish is a twist on one of my family's favorites. I have been making Green Chicken Enchiladas for about 35 years, slowly improving on it over the years. The one thing I find really time consuming is rolling the enchiladas. When one considers how my hubby dishes them up it is really an exercise in futility. So I have begun layering them instead. Much easier to dish up and just as tasty. And another one of those great budget stretching comfort dishes.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups salsa verde, either purchased or homemade
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

Mix the above ingredients together in a saucepan and heat through.

2 TBS. olive oil
2 TBS. butter
1 small diced onion
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
4 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 tsp. cumin
1-2 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
16-18 corn tortillas
3-4 cups shredded cheese...cheddar, monterey jack, or combination of the two
sour cream

In a large skillet melt the butter and oil together. Add the onions and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until onion is fairly caramelized. Add the can of chilies and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Add the chicken and spices and heat through...about 5 minutes. On the subject of the chicken...I like to use leftover chicken. I will freeze leftovers until I have enough to make a casserole. The night before I made the casserole I had made a rotisserie chicken in the crockpot and used the meat from that for this dish. I also freeze the carcass after I strip it to make chicken stock at a later date. In light of the current economic situation I feel obligated to make use of everything.

Back to the casserole.

In a small skillet heat a small amount of oil and quickly heat each tortilla in the oil...just a few seconds on each side. You want the tortillas to stay flexible. Drain on paper towels.

In the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole dish spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Lay out 6 of the tortillas in the dish. Top with half the chicken mixture, then 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the cheese. Layer 6 more tortillas, the other half of the chicken, 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the cheese. Top with remaining sauce and then cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the casserole is all melty and bubbly. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream. This is really Mmm! Mmm! Good! Enjoy!

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