Thursday, June 04, 2009
Jamie’s Mexican Chicken and Tortilla Casserole
Paula Deen’s The Deen Family Cookbook Copyright 2009
One 16-ounce jar salsa (2 cups)
1 cup chicken broth
One 6-to-7-ounce bag tortilla chips
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 cups (3/4 pound) grated Montery Jack, or pepper jack
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the salsa and broth in a blender and process until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the tortilla chips with 2 ½ cups of the salsa mixture. In a separate bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining ½ cup salsa mixture.
2. In a greased 13x9-inch baking dish, layer one third of the chips, followed by half of the chicken, half of the sliced onion, and one third of the cheese. Repeat. Top with the remaining chips and cheese. Cover with foil and bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melting. Serve hot.
We were in kind of a rush last night when I made this. I didn't want to make it ahead of time, even though it was probably safe to do that. If I had topped this with sour cream and green onions it would have looked a lot more enticing but neither of those items was needed. This recipe even elicited a comment from my husband - 'This is good stuff.' I have to wholeheartedly agree. I loved the crunch of the (sweet onions) but if you aren't an onion lover, leave them out.
I used a medium salsa but this was still quite mild. Next time I may try a hot salsa or some jack cheese to up the heat factor a bit.
A lot of people have been talking about migas lately and this sort of reminds me of that, in the way that the tortillas soften up in the salsa mixture. Like my husband said, this is good stuff. This will be making many more appearances on our table.
I have to admit I bought this cookbook specifically for this recipe even though it was simple enough that I could have memorized it in the store (my sister will actually jot down recipes right in the store). I have an illness, remember. I'm sure I will make something else out of this book. I do question whether or not these recipes are all actually from Paula Deen's family but they seem like good recipes so it really doesn't matter. She has very generously spread the wealth and recognition throughout her family. She is either very nice or very smart. You probably won't see her family and old friends blabbing anything to the tabloids about her (not that they'd have anything to say). She even had her ex-husband on her show.
Question of the Day: Do you grate your own cheese or buy the preshredded variety?