Thursday, June 04, 2009

Good stuff

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?


Annie Jones said...

I can find Cheddar and mozzarrella already shredded for the same price or even less than block cheese. I usually buy those at Sam's Club or Aldi.

With other cheeses (like Pepper Jack) it's usually less expensive for me to buy the block and shred it at home.

Jennifer said...

I mainly buy the blocks. It really doesn't take long to shred. I think the cheese melts better, as the pre-shredded is coated in cornstarch to keep it from sticking and it seems like that makes the cheese get gloppy when it melts.

Wanda said...

I buy the pre-shredded kind.

This recipe has a number of things in commom with King Ranch Chicken. KRC is tops with a lot of people in our area - South Texas. It usually has real tortillas, cut in pieces, canned 'Hot Rotel' tomatoes with chilis, and mushroom? soup...or maybe it is cream of chicken soup, with all the usual ingredients - chicken, cheese... Scrumptious!

Migas are my favorite thing to order for breakfast out.

Rebel In Ontario said...

Depends on what I'm making and how much time I have (or if DH will be arounf for me to get to do it :-))
This recipe sounds really good, wonder how I can do it low soduim...could be hard with the ingredients involved.

Anonymous said...

I never use pre-shredded cheese (unless it comes in a freebie deal)because I just don't think it is as good, doesn't melt well, etc. I don't mind doing the shredding at all.
Oh, yeah! King Ranch Chicken. And Migas....I make them often at home.


P.S. Wanda, can I entice you to come visit if I promise to make migas for you?

Donna-FFW said...

The dinner looks simple and delicious. A far as the cheese goes, I buy both. I use different types for different dishes:)

Randi said...

I used to buy all the shreeded cheese, but lately I've been grating my own. The shreeded contains an anti-caking agent that I think might alter the flavor.

Noel said...

I made this over the weekend with chicken and then again with ground beef. My family loved it both times. I put black olives in both times and also jalapenos once. Great flavor. Will be making this often. It is so easy too!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Oh, ground beef! What a great idea. Or leftover pot roast!

LeeJaye21 said...

I am with Annie Jones. Aldi or even Walmart prices make it pointless to buy and shred block cheese. Shop Rite often has sales on 8 oz. bags of shredded in many varieties, too. I just stocked up on those at $1.24 per bag. At that price I stuff the freezer, and it keeps forever without changing flavor or texture.