Raise your hand if you’re getting just a teeny, tiny bit excited for Fall.
**Looks left, looks right…slowly raises hand**
Shhhh! I know! I feel like I’m cheating on summer too!
(Oh, and FOOTBALL!!!)
(Which means TAILGATING!!!)
Plus, there’s this neighborhood tree that’s totally shoving it in my face.
I swear, every summer before the other trees in the ‘hood have even fully finished sprouting their Spring leaves, this mo’s already turning yellow. I mean look – it’s not even August yet, and it’s already got a patch of red!
It kind of makes me paranoid, and is a constant reminder of the looming season that shall not be named.
But it also kind of gets me excited to make Fall’s finest food – make that food group. Casseroles.
Yep, I take that too-quickly-turning-tree as a sign that it’s perfectly acceptable to whip up a thick & cheesy dish during the dog days of summer.
Tonight – Chicken Enchilada Casserole!
Despite the name, this recipe is actually fairly light, and fairly delicioso. It starts by simmering chicken breasts in a mixture of green chilies and low-sodium chicken broth. When the chicken is cooked, it’s shredded and the cooking liquid is reserved.
Next, shallots are sautéed with more green chilies until softened,
then the kitchen sink gets added in. Enchilada sauce, evaporated skim milk, cream cheese, the reserved cooking liquid and a mountain of shredded cheese!
Which is promptly melted into a luscious, bubbly sauce. Which, I imagine, would make for a pretty terrific chip dip. Personally, I wouldn’t know…
Next the shredded chicken is added into the sauce and everything is mixed up.
Finally, layers of corn tortillas and the cheesy chicken mixture are layered high…
before being topped with crushed tortilla chips and more shredded cheese.
Into the oven…
Cheesy, savory, thick and I LOVE those corn tortillas. Creamy and chewy.
Aaaaaand, there it is.
Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa (aka my salsa crack) is slathered on top. This was awesome!
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans chopped green chilies
1lb chicken breasts
salt & pepper
4 shallots, minced (or 1/2 onion)
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1-10oz can enchilada sauce
2oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar-jack cheese, divided
9-6″ corn tortillas
- Bring chicken broth and 1 can green chilies to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt & pepper then cook for 7-8 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove to a plate, shred and set aside. Pour cooking liquid into a bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Return skillet to medium-high heat then add shallots (or onions, if using) and second can green chilies. Sauté until shallots are tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add evaporated milk, enchilada sauce, cream cheese, 1 cup shredded cheese and reserved cooking liquid. Stir until smooth, then add shredded chicken, stir well, and remove skillet from heat.
- Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray then lay 3 corn tortillas in the bottom and top with 2 cups chicken mixture. Repeat layers two more times. Top with crushed tortilla chips and remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese on top is golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a thirst-quenching Arnold Palmer to enjoy.
I might be a wee bit excited for the changing seasons, but it’s legit like 1,000 degrees out there. Mama’s gotta stay cool somehow!
Is it too early to be looking forward to Fall?