Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nostalgic Tex-Mex Chicken Casserole

This was one of the more popular casseroles popping up in our home and at church suppers everywhere in Texas in the 1970's. Hungry for chicken enchiladas in a hurry tonight, I remembered this recipe, had the basic ingredients on hand, threw it together in no time. Satisfied my craving for Mexican food, while also reminding me of my mother's home cooking. Greg loved it, went back for seconds!

Ingredients for a small pan (will serve 4, double to serve 8)

9 corn tortillas (softened with a little splash of water, between to plates & zapped for a few seconds in the microwave)
1/2 onion & 1 large clove fresh minced garlic, sauteed (you can also add leftover corn, sauteed green pepper, a handful of sliced black olives, left over tomatoes, a few beans -- this is a great clean-out-the fridge casserole)
1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
2/3 c. velveeta cheese (I used some grated pepper jack to replace some of the Velveeta)
1 c. bottled salsa
1/4 - 1/2 c. skim milk
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I use the breasts from a rotiserie chicken)

1 1/2 c. grated cheddar (or any combination of hard cheeses you like)

1/2 c. sour cream (may also use Ranch Dressing)

Sliced, pickled jalepenos for garnish

Preheat Oven 350

In a large saucepan, saute onions in olive oil until brown and crisp-tender. To this add cream of mushroom soup, Velveeta cheese, 1 cup salsa. It should be about as thick as queso at this point, but if you feel it is too thick, thin it with some skim milk so it is creamy and "stir-able."

To this mixture add diced chicken breast and stir to coat.

Line a greased 9 by 9 inch casserole or 9 inch deep dish Pyrex pie pan with 3 corn tortillas, torn in "chip size" pieces. Pour 1/2 the chicken-cheese mixture over the tortillas then 1/2 c grated cheese. Follow with 3 more torn corn tortillas, more chicken-cheese sauce, 1/2 c. grated cheese. Top with last of tortillas, last of cheese, and dot with dollops of sour cream and sliced jalapenos if desired.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted, casserole is heated through and edges are turning a golden brown.

Tasty served with fresh slices of tomato, avocado and pineapple.

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