Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole

Here we are in May already!  May is one of my favorite months.  The days are getting longer, and somewhat nicer.  I have lots of friends who have birthdays in this month. Peyton was born in May.  Cinco de Mayo is also a highlight of the month.   I love how people look at it as the perfect excuse to drink Coronas and margaritas and eat tasty food.  You know that is my kind of day.
Chilaquiles is known as the traditional hangover food.  Typically served at breakfast or brunch and often with eggs.  My interpretation is a casserole and includes chicken.  This is another dish that you can easily customize to your taste.  Vegetarian? Leave out the chicken.  Add some beans for extra protein.  Toss in those eggs and serve at breakfast time.  For garnish I used guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo.  Have a fresh salad on the side and there is dinner. I fried my tortillas, but you could simplify and use tortilla chips.  Of course, don't forget your favorite beverage to wash it down!
Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole
8 small corn tortillas
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken, of course)
1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
19 ounce can enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheese, such as cheddar or monterey jack
8 small corn tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
Preheat oven to 400.  Prepare a 2-quart casserole dish with baking spray.  
Cut tortillas into strips.  I used a pizza cutter for easy slicing.  In a medium skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.  Fry tortilla strips in batches for about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
In a large skillet, cook onion, garlic, corn, and the full can of tomatoes about 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Transfer to a bowl and add chicken. Stir to combine.  
Place a layer of tortilla strips in the bottom of your casserole. Then top with the chicken  mixture, half the can of enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.  Repeat each layer one more time.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 10 more minutes.  Casserole should be bubbly and cheese should be melted.  
Add your favorite garnishes and enjoy!
This would be the perfect dish to make for Cinco de Mayo.  It is completely no fuss and will feed a crowd. The flavors are delicious and you can make it however you like.  Oh, and this can be prepared with an 11-month-old baby holding onto your legs, crying and wailing....or so I've heard.  Pass the tequila.