Now don’t let the word casserole scare you away. Festive Chicken Casserole is simply a chicken, cheese and tortilla dish, similar to enchiladas only layered instead of rolled and served with salsa instead of baked with enchilada sauce. I substituted chile powder for paprika and cheddar cheese for the jack cheese. I also added some thawed frozen white corn for added flavor. To add a little color to the finished casserole, I garnished with chopped red peppers and green olives. Serve with plenty of good salsa.
Festive Chicken Casserole
-recipe from The Big Book of Casseroles by Maryana Vollstedt
This is a good casserole to make for a party because it should be assembled several hours ahead or even the night before baking. Layers of tortillas, chicken, chiles, and cheese in a creamy sauce will get you “raves” on this casserole dish. Serve with a salad of orange and jicama slices.
2 cups light sour cream
1 can (7 ounces) diced green chiles, drained
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped green onions, including some tender green tops
2 cloves garlic, minced
9 corn tortillas, softened*
4 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
4 cups (about 1 pound) grated Monterey Jack cheese
Salsa for topping
In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, chiles, paprika, cumin, salt, onions, and garlic. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray or oil, place 3 tortillas so that they overlap slightly. In layers, add one third of the chicken, one-third of the sour cream mixture (it will not cover chicken completely), and one third of the cheese. Repeat layers 2 more times, beginning with tortillas. Cover and refrigerate sevral hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F. Bring casserole to room temperature and then bake, covered, until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with salsa as an accompaniment.
*To Soften Tortillas: There are a number of easy methods for warming tortillas. Wrap them in paper towels and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. Wrap them in aluminum foil and place in a 350F oven for 6 to 7 minutes. Fry them one at a time over medium heat in a small nonstick skillet or griddle lightly coated with cooking spray or oil. Heat on a grill turning once with tongs. Stack tortillas and keep warm until ready to use.
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