Sunday, January 06, 2013
Tex-Mex layered chicken casserole
As I watched the chef demonstrate preparation of the casserole to Guy Fieri, I figured that it would be an easy dish to arrange. Since I've made enchilada casserole many times, I had the basic ingredients and proportions down. With only mental notes, I quickly made the creamy tomato and chile sauce and assembled the casserole as a layered dish. The residents enjoyed the casserole. It was a nice change from the regularly menued item.
Tonight I prepared a half recipe in a 12-inch camp Dutch oven. This oven will feed eight to 12 persons, depending on their level of hunger. If you have fewer mouths to feed, I would cut the recipe in half for a 10-inch Dutch oven.
Double the recipe and assemble in a 12 by 20 by 2-inch hotel pan in a camp setting. Cut 4 by 6 for 24 servings.
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced small
2 jalapeno chile peppers, diced small
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, scalded
1 cup chicken stock, hot
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (7-ounce) can diced green chiles
3 tablespoons white wine or lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
16 corn tortillas, cut in half
2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded (white and dark best)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 ounces shredded cheddar and jack cheese blend
Heat oil in saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sweat until soft, but do not brown. Stir in cumin and flour to form a roux. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Add milk, stock, tomatoes, green chiles, wine or juice and thyme to roux, stirring continually until thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and cumin.
Ladle 1 cup sauce into a 12-inch Dutch oven. Spread it across the bottom. Arrange 8 tortilla halves in over the sauce. Ladle 1 cup sauce on tortillas, then spread 1/3 of the meat, 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1/4 of the cheese over tortillas. Repeat layering process 2 more times. You will have 3 sauce, chicken and cheese layers when done.
Arrange 8 tortilla halves in over top layer. Ladle 1 cup sauce over tortillas. Spread remaining cheese over top. Bake with coals for 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, until casserole is cooked and cheese has melted. You want the bottom layer of tortillas to brown and top layer of cheese to crisp (without burning). Serves 8 to 12 campers.