Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Source of Recipe
You get all the goodness of enchiladas with this, without all the labor intensive rolling of the tortillas. It's also lightened up a tiny bit, as authentic enchilada recipes called for lightly fried tortillas, and you can skip that step with this dish. It's also very adaptable and forgiving ... want to use beef? or different cheeses? hotter or milder? red sauce instead of green? No problem!
List of Ingredients
This makes about one large casserole dish, like a 9x13 pan, or a 2 quart casserole. You can double up to make a larger roaster-type pan for potlucks, or make two regular size casseroles if you wish.
1 big fat chicken breast (bone-in is best for flavor) - place in a medium sized sauce pan and cover with water. Season with some garlic and a packet of Goya Sazon seasoning (found in the Mexican aisle of the grocery store). Simmer for about 30 minutes, til cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Once it's cool enough to handle, remove the chicken from the bone, discarding the skin and bones. Shred the chicken and set aside. Keep the broth reserved to use in making the dish. (If you want to take the easy route, substitute a small roasted chicken from the store and a can of chicken broth... it's not as good, but will do the job!)
1 large pkg corn tortillas (about a dozen or so?), cut into quarters
1 large can of green chile enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
1 jar of salsa, mild or medium
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese or nacho cheese soup
about a cup of the reserved chicken broth
16 oz shredded cheese, whatever kind you like
Thinly sliced green onions
Finely diced tomatoes
Extra shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 375; spray a 13x9 pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soups, chicken broth, and about a cup of salsa. Set this aside.
Have all your remaining ingredients set out and ready to go so you can sort of assembly-line the dish.
Start with a light layer of the green enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish (this will keep the tortillas from sticking too badly). Cover the layer of sauce with a layer of tortilla pieces (note: don't go overboard, as they will suck up all the sauce and they you end up with essentially a dish of cornmeal if you use too many. Just lay enough down to make a single layer.) Now add another light layer of the green sauce.
Add a layer of the shredded chicken. Spread some of the creamy sauce you mixed up on top of the chicken, trying not to mess the layers up too much, but it doesn't have to be perfect... it's a casserole, remember? ;) Sprinkle a THIN layer of your shredded cheese on top of the creamy layer.
NOW...... repeat the same layers until you've used up all your ingredients, being careful not to overfill the dish (it WILL bubble over, trust me). SO.... after you got that first layer down, lay another layer of tortillas, then green sauce, then creamy sauce, then cheese. I usually end up with about three layers all together.
The top of the casserole should end with tortilla pieces topped with the last of your green sauce, and sprinkled with the last of the cheese.... this makes it so the top comes out kind of crunchy, while the inside of the casserole is softer.
Before shoving the whole thing in the oven, tear off a large piece of foil that will fit over the dish. Spray one side of it with cooking spray, and lay that spray-side down on the dish so your lovely casserole doesn't stick to the foil and make a mess.
Bake at 375 for about 45 mins, remove the foil and take a look. If it's good and bubbly around the edges and hot all the way through, remove the foil and stick it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to brown the top.
IMPORTANT: Once the dish is done, you MUST let it set for at least 10 minutes. Kind of like a lasagna... if you cut into it too soon, it'll run all over the place. If you let it set up a bit, you can cut it into squares for serving.
Set out bowls of your garnishes for people to fix their dish as they like.