So, I’m back from my summer travels and ready to get back into the swing of things. I’ve barely cooked all summer and couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen. I’ve especially missed being able to send in contributions to Joelen’s “Tasty Tools” event. This month, Joelen is having us focus on one of my favorite multi-use tools, the whisk. I was craving something that would have a lot of flavor, but wouldn’t be too heavy or calorie laden. This was perfect.
As the beginning of the school year is always so insanely busy, I wanted to make a larger recipe so I could freeze half of it. I did all the steps up to assembly, then split the components and put together two separate casseroles. I froze one of the assembled casseroles, as “Cooking Light” said I could. I just baked the other, adjusting the baking time. I’ve posted the original baking time with the recipe. I ended up baking my half portion for a total of 25 minutes.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
adapted from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
1 1/4 lbs. skinned, boned chicken breast
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. beer or chicken stock
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
4 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 (4.5-oz.) cans chopped green chiles, drained
5 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4tsp. ground cumin
2 c. 1% low-fat milk
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 (6-in.) corn tortillas, cut in half
1/2 c. low fat or fat-free sour cream
1/2 c. salsa
Directions:1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; let cool. Shred chicken with 2 forks; set aside.
3. Recoat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
4. Add shredded chicken, beer, red pepper, and tomatoes; cook 6 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Remove from heat.
5. Reserve 1 tablespoon green onions for garnish. Stir remaining green onions and chiles into chicken mixture; set aside.
6. Combine flour, salt, and cumin in a separate, medium saucepan.
7. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place over medium heat; cook 7 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.
8. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg whites, stirring constantly with whisk. Set aside.
9. Place cheeses in a bowl; toss well. Set aside.
10. Spread 1/2 c. white sauce in bottom of a 2 1/2-quart round casserole or soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortilla halves over sauce; top with 2 c. chicken mixture, 1/2 c. white sauce, and 1/2 c. cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with sauce. Set remaining 1/2 c. cheese mixture aside.
11. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes or until hot.
12. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese mixture and reserved green onions; bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and salsa.
NOTE: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time; cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight, then bake at 350º for 1 hour or until bubbly. Or freeze casserole, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours, then bake for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated.