Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Do you ever crave chicken enchiladas but always think about it too late in the day to make for dinner that night? It being somewhat labor-intensive and all? I do.
Don't dispair. Instead of stuffing and rolling each tortilla, try this easy, breezy Chicken Enchilada Casserole instead. Inspired by Clay's "John Wayne Casserole" (now there's another post) and a recipe my niece, Janice, sent me, this dish is easily assembled and baked in about 1 1/2 hours.
Experiment with different kinds of cheeses, including lower fat, and/or add exotic left-overs to the layers. Any way you put this together, it will be delicious.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Christine's original recipeIngredients:4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - tenders removed for another use
2 large cans good enchilada sauce. Find one that's light on the sodium
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat if desired
2-3 cups shredded jack cheese, reduced fat if desired
2 small cans chopped olives, drained
1 large can diced green chilies, drained
2 cans seasoned small brown beans, such as S and W Pinquitos, drained
1 package large, whole wheat, low carb tortillas -or-
1 package large corn tortillas
Pre-Assembly:Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a covered glass casserole dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and microwave another 4 minutes until cooked through. Remove to a plate to allow to cool slightly then shred or cut into bite-sized pieces.
Meanwhile, grate the cheeses and set aside, separately. Remove lids from all the cans and drain any that need draining.
Assembly:Cover the bottom of a large roasting pan with a layer of sauce. Place tortillas over the top of the sauce, covering the entire bottom of the pan, cutting in half to fit if needed. Pour a thin layer of sauce over the top of the tortillas. Begin layering, starting with the beans, then chicken, olives, chilies and cheddar cheese, topped by another layer of tortillas and a thin layer of sauce. Repeat 2 more times, ending with a layer of tortillas, the remainder of the sauce and a thick layer of jack cheese.
Cover with foil and bake in a 375 oven for about 35 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is hot and bubbling. Remove the foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-7 minutes before cutting.
Serve with your favorite grilled veggies (zucchini, in this photo) and/or a large green salad.