Friday, June 6, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I've decided to start adding recipes to my blog, in the hopes of expanding not only my number of posts, but also the topics that I write about, and I'm hoping that this will also in time expand my desire to start writing again. So here's the first of hopefully many recipes I include.  This particular recipe I received from my grandmother several years ago, and it has become one of my family's favorites. I hope you enjoy it, as well. Bon appetit!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can diced green chiles
2 medium-large chicken breast
1 cup milk or milk alternative (I use unsweetened soy milk)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I like medium cheddar or pepper jack)
12-15 corn tortillas, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Saute in a skillet to cook, using just a tiny bit of oil to keep the chicken from sticking to the skillet. Cook thoroughly. Add green chiles, cream of chicken soup, milk, and about 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese into the skillet with the chicken. Heat until all ingredients are mixed well, and cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Using a 9x13 in pan or casserole dish, layer ingredients. Add a small amount of chicken mixture to bottom of pan, then layer with tortillas, spreading the cut tortillas across the pan into a single layer. Continue to layer as follows: Tortillas, chicken mixture, cheese. Repeat layering until all ingredients have been used. Place dish into oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until top cheese layer is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and let dish rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Serves 6-10 people.

Additions, Tips, and Alterations:
-If short on time, substitute canned chicken meat instead of fresh chicken breast. Simply drain any unwanted liquids from can, and add to saucepan with the other ingredients, heating the same way as above.
-To alter the thickness or 'juicy-ness' of the recipe, add more/less milk to the sauce mixture.
-If you don't want to alter the chicken mixture, simply double-layer the tortillas while building the casserole.
-I've started adding 1 cup frozen corn to the sauce mixture, to add more texture to the casserole, and increase my family's veggie intake. This recipe could also be quite tasty with bell peppers, onions, beans, or almost any other veggie you prefer!
-The chicken mixture seems to work best if the pieces of chicken are small, or even shredded. This prevents the casserole from being heavy on the chicken in some areas, while lacking in others.

If any of you have questions or additional tips for this recipe, please leave a comment below!

Recipes? We'll see about that.

I’m feeling a bit impatient today. And quite a bit exhausted as well. I had jury duty for the last week, and while it was much better than I thought it would be, and I was really interested in the whole legal process, it left me with very little energy by the end of the night. And since my dad STILL has not gotten his own car, (or his own apartment, for that matter), I’ve been having to wake up early to take him and Jorel to work each day. This does not make for a refreshed and energized Melanie. This makes for a very tired, and usually grumpy Melanie. Luckily I was only serving as an alternate to the official jurors, so there was no chance of the verdict being altered by my moods. 

Anyways. I was trying to update my blog, and since I don’t really have any original thoughts right now, I was just going to post some of my favorite recipes in the mean time. BUT, there seems to be something wrong with my Internet connection, or the Internet itself, or maybe its just God’s way of telling me to not post recipes right now. All I know is that every website I go to will only load about halfway (at best), and then it just stops progressing altogether. It remains with the never-ending revolving circle of loading death, and never finishes bringing up my webpage. This makes for a very unsuccessful blogging experience. So instead I'm typing in Microsoft word, because at least it’s working properly. What I'll do once I'm finished, I have no idea. Maybe try posting again. Maybe make some jewelry. Maybe I'll make some lunch, or clean my bedroom, or walk the dogs, or wallow in self-pity and do nothing for the rest of the day. Who knows? I just know that the world will be a slightly darker place without having seen my chicken enchilada casserole recipe. And you know what? We can blame the internet for that.