MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE

I am so sorry I have been gone for so long. Life has been hectic around my house. We had a garage sale this past Saturday and I have been consumed with cleaning out my cabinets, closets, and attic and trying to figure out how to get a 16 foot trailer full of my junk priced in just a week. Yuck. On top of that, my kiddo has had the stomach bug, which let me tell you, is about as fun as having a garage sale. I have some posts ready so I will try to get those up on a more regular basis than I have been posting. I’ve got some yummy stuff to share with you, this recipe included. So, without further adieu…

When I first saw this recipe on Annie’s Eats, I wasn’t sure about it. It looked really good, but I’m very weird about food texture, and I wasn’t sure if I would like the texture of this casserole. However, I was needing a quick and easy meal for dinner and I had all the ingredients for this on hand, so I thought we’d try it. I’m so glad we did! The whole family loved it, and so did I. Though the tortilla chips are soaked in chicken broth, there is no soggy texture to this dish. We had it left over the next day and it was even better. This is a delicious 30 minute meal that I will make over and over again.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 halves total)
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1¾ c. chicken broth
5 c. tortilla chips, broken into large pieces
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. Mexican blend cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Pat the chicken breast halves dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides (chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point.)  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, onion, garlic, chipotle, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.  Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken broth, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Stir in half of the tortilla chips.  Nestle the chicken into the broth and cook over medium-low heat until cooked through (reading 160° F on an instant-read thermometer), about 10 minutes.  Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a cutting board and shred into bite-sized pieces when it is cool enough to handle.

Return the shredded chicken to the skillet with the Rotel, black beans, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro.  Stir in the other half of the tortilla chips until they are incorporated and moistened.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browning, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Top with remaining cilantro and serve, allowing the casserole to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats

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