The only reason I haven’t made this dish for you before now is because it feeds an army and frankly, my freezer is full of things we’ve made too much of. Also, Chrissy and I don’t really have the eating habits of an army, maybe an army of mice, but not an army of humans. Here at the Cushing house we included a side salad with a cilantro-lime dressing and fed 5-6 people two nights in a row with this yummy casserole. The Chicken Enchilada Casserole could give you and yours lunch and dinner for a couple days, and trust me, you will not get tired of eating it! This recipe came straight out of mom’s Cooking Light cookbook:
The happy face is the household symbol for: “We will make this again and again and again, it’s a fav.”
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/4 pounds chicken breast (We typically just use a rotisserie chicken)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup — as Ina Garten would say — of good beer
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
- 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded very sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut in half
- 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
- 1/2 cup salsa
Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; let cool. Shred chicken with 2 forks; set aside.
Recoat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add shredded chicken, beer, red pepper, and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat. Reserve 1 tablespoon green onions and 1 tablespoon olives for garnish. Stir remaining green onions, remaining olives, and chiles into chicken mixture; set aside.
Combine flour, salt, cumin, and coriander in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place over medium heat; cook 7 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg whites, stirring constantly with whisk. Set aside.
Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of a 2 1/2-quart round casserole or soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortilla halves over sauce; top with 2 cups chicken mixture, 1/2 cup white sauce, and 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with sauce. Set remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture aside.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture, reserved green onions, and reserved olives; bake an additional 5 minutes until the cheese is gooey, bubbly and golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving or it will all collapse onto itself! Serve with sour cream and salsa on the side.
*Little Yellow Note: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time; cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight, then bake at 350º for 1 hour or until bubbly. Or freeze casserole, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours, then bake for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated. These qualities make the dish an awesome gifted dinner for an elderly neighbor, friend in need, or a potluck!
Little Yellow Cushing Kitchen,