Sunday, September 06, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This recipe has several steps, but is still relatively easy (easier than rolling individual enchiladas, anyway!), and the results are delicious. Assembly is very much like making lasagna. You could easily add more/different vegetables such as squash and/or beans to the chicken mixture, or even make a completely vegetarian version.
Enchilada casserole keeps well as leftovers, can be frozen before or after baking, and makes a great take-along dish for pot-lucks.

1 28-oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

4 C fully cooked chicken, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp mexican spice blend
2 Tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced fine, with some of the sauce
1 tsp salt
2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
12 large tortillas, cut into 3-inch wide strips

Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, to combine flavors.
Meanwhile, in large skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until clear. Add spices and minced chipotles, saute 1 minute more. Stir in chicken & heat through, remove from heat, and stir in 1 1/2 C of the cheese. This is the filling.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Spray the bottom & sides of a 13x9-in pan. Spread a ladle of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Arrange 1/3 the tortilla strips in an even layer, followed by half the filling, then spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce; repeat another 1/3 of the tortillas, the remaining half of the filling, another 1/3 of sauce, the last 1/3 of the tortillas, and finally the last of the sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 C of cheese. Bake at 400° until bubbly, golden, & beautiful- about 30 minutes.

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