Monday, January 13, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

My husband makes really delicious chicken enchiladas from scratch, but they are quite labor intensive and so we don't have them very often. I made this recipe to be able to enjoy all the flavors of chicken enchiladas with less work.

1 lb. chicken meat, in bite size pieces (cooked or raw, see Step 1)
A little ghee or butter, about a tbsp. for the chicken and another tbsp. butter or coconut oil or lard to grease your casserole dish
1 medium red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 tbsp. chili powder
Sea salt & ground pepper to taste
1 cup enchilada sauce, see comments below to easily make your own
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup salsa
About 4 oz. green chiles, try these or these in a glass jar!
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh, if fresh use about 2 ears)
Approx. 10 small corn tortillas (or 5 large), torn into bite-sized pieces, try these
1 1/2 to 2 cups of cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Manchego, etc.), grated

How To:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you need to cook your chicken, sauté it in a large skillet in a little butter or ghee until mostly cooked. Then add peppers and onions and cook until vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. If your chicken is cooked, then add it to the skillet with the peppers and onions and cook until warm and the vegetables are tender. Season with chili powder and salt and pepper. When done, remove from heat and let cool a bit while you start the next step.

2. Add enchilada sauce, sour cream, salsa, and green chiles to a large bowl and stir to combine. Then add the chicken and tortillas and mix well. Add about half your grated cheese, and stir to combine.

3. Pour it all into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese. Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes, until browned and the cheese is melted. Bake uncovered for the last 10-15 minutes. If you have the patience for it, let sit 5 minutes before serving. You can see from the pictures, we don't have patience!

Comments: This is a house favorite and I hope you enjoy. The leftovers are delicious too. We like to serve over rice. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it would also be a great dish to sneak in a little spinach or kale. This serves about 6-8 and takes about an hour to make, including 30 minutes cook time.

You can make enchilada sauce easily by following this basic recipe from Emeril Lagasse. I like to double (or triple) this recipe and freeze the extras for future use.

3 tbsp. lard or butter or coconut oil (expeller pressed so there is no coconut flavor)
1 tbsp. whole grain flour, try spelt or einkorn
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups stock, I've used chicken and pork
10 ounces tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt

In a medium saucepan, heat lard and then add flour. Stir until smooth and cook about 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook another 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

This is basically Emeril's Easy Enchilada sauce, which I've just changed a little. But, I've included the links to his original recipe if you'd like to check it out. This makes 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce.

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