Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Casserole (aka Tex-mex Chicken Lasagna)

   Tonight for supper at the Lazy W... "Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Casserole." Or maybe, how about this... "Tex Mex Chicken Lasagna."

   Either way, it is delicious and easy. The ingredients are pretty much just some leftover chicken, a few basic pantry ingredients and dairy products, and maybe some fresh hot peppers from your garden. The main inspiration for this recipe was a growing stack of broken corn tortillas in my fridge. I don't know why, but for a month or more I cannot seem to lay my hands on good corn tortillas. Weird.

   See what I mean? They come out of the dang package this way. You could say that the broken tortilla scandal has been putting a damper on our weekly Taco Tuesday fun. Have you ever tried to eat a fish taco from a limp, crumbly, noncommittal corn tortilla? Not easy.

   Anyway, if you have some leftover chicken, dysfunctional tortillas, and some other stuff and you'd like a nice, quick weeknight meal... Give this a try. Really filling and yummy!

What You Need:

  • Three pre-cooked chicken breasts. Either grilled or baked, whaevv, it's a texture or convenience choice. 
  • Olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, and a few fresh hot peppers. Maybe some onions if you're an onion person.
  • Basic spices: salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, etc. You will see later, just seasoning the sauce to taste.
  • Two to three cups or more of shredded Tex-mex style cheeses. YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT.
  • A short stack of broken up corn tortillas. I think flour would also be delicious, Decadent, in fact. What is already in your fridge? I am guessing I used about twelve.
  • A can of condensed cream-of-chicken soup.
  • One cup of sour cream.
  • Less than a cup of heavy cream. (Milk also works, but I am a heavy cream snob lately, which partially explains how my jeans have been fitting.)
  • I think that is probably it.
  • Okay.

What You Do:

  • Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees.
  • Shred or finely dice your cooked chicken. Your choice... It's just a texture thing.
  • In a saucepan that seems too big at first, saute some garlic and some chopped hot peppers. Again, it's a personal flavor thing, so your choice on exactly what or how much. I had some gorgeous habaneros and jalapenos ready to go, so I grabbed those and had some fun. Use olive oil and watch closely for burning garlic. And do NOT rub your eyes at any point during this process, like I did. Hey, if you like onions (we do not), add some diced onion to the party.
  • Now, in a big mixing bowl, add the softened, flavorful sauteed stuff to your tiny chicken pieces and also add an ungodly amount of shredded cheese. Any Tex-mex cheeses you groove. Stir it really well.

I kept thinking how other veggies, like mushroom and spinach would be great in this mix. 
And cilantro, tomatoes, etc. Yum! The possibilities are endless. AVACADO.
  • Okay.
  • Now, in that same sauce pan as earlier, to pick up the flavors, mix together the can of condensed soup, the sour cream, and the heavy cream. Season it all with nutmeg, salt and pepper, garlic powder, etc, to your liking. Maybe some cayenne? Or Paprika? Just heat it all through and whisk it to a smooth consistency. Taste and change as you like. 

  • The assembly is so much like lasagna. Use a 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle and spread a small amount of sauce over the bare pan, then arrange the broken tortillas into a flat layer. Then scoop some spicy chicken-cheese mixture over that and smooth it flat. Then evenly ladle some creamy, yummy sauce over that and repeat: Broken tortillas, chicken mix, sauce. The proportions I tried tonight were exactly enough for two layers.
  • Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top for good measure.
  • Bake in a hot oven for less than half an hour, really just until it is all hot and the cheese on top is bubbly.
   There you go! Easy, fast, and pretty economical, especially if you use leftovers. Served with salad, tortilla chips, and EXCELLENT salsa made by Junior, I got my Tex-mex food fix without driving to a restaurant or feeling like I overindulged. I mean, not too much...

   What is for dinner in your home tonight?

   Also, I had the best weekend and the best first half of the week, including a lunch date today with my eldest daughter. Lots of prayers being answered. 

   And on the blog front, in case you hadn't heard, the month of October is going to be lots of fun. Tiny T is searching for love, and we are having a little choose-your-own-adventure party right here to help him! 

   So excited. Check out the new Tiny T tab up at the top of this main page!

Have fun, be happy!


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