Southwestern Creamy Chicken Casserole
This was adapted from my aunts basic Chicken Casserole. It was good, but real bland and plain. I made it into a really satisfying Southwestern style dish that I really like, though it is somewhat spicy (I cook for myself and how I like to eat). If it's too spicy for your tastes, just use less hot peppers or substitute milder peppers. I like it with some fresh, hot spicy homemade cornbread and a nice garden salad with a spicy vinegar and oil dressing. If desired, you can also substitute chicken breasts for all dark meat. I cut up 2 whole chickens, then remove skin and bones til I have 4 pounds of mixed meat. Also, hominy is best in this.
- 8 cloves garlic
- 4 chipolte peppers in adobo sauce
- Kosher or sea salt salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons chile powder
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 4 tablespoons+ any nut or other oil
- 4 pounds chicken leg and thigh meat
- 2 pounds diced plum tomatoes
- 1-1/2 cups drained yellow hominy or corn
- 1 fine chopped or fine grated red onion
- 4 fine chopped Anaheim chili peppers
- 4 fine chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
- 1 minced habanero or other hot pepper optional
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 6 cups crushed corn or tortilla chips
- 2 cups crumbled goat cheese
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/2 cup clear tequila
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped black olives
- Chopped cilantro
- Sour cream or plain yogurt
Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Mash garlic and chipolte to a paste with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the cumin, 2-1/2 tablespoons chile powder, and oregano
(rub between hands to get a coarse powder), mix well. Mix in 1-1/2 tablespoons oil and set aside.
Cut chicken into bite size pieces, mix well with about 1/3 of the spice paste. Spread on rimmed baking sheet brushed with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Roast about 15 to 20
minutes, or til lightly browned, but still not quite done, check often (don't over-cook). Keep warm.
Combine tomatoes, hominy, onion, peppers, minced cilantro, 1 tablespoon oil and remaining garlic mix in a saucepan, heat on low.
Combine goat and jack cheese with tequila in saucepan and heat on low, stirring frequently, til smooth and creamy, stir in cream and cook one minute longer.
Remove from heat.
Brush a deep, 9 x 13 inch baking dish with oil. Spread out 5 cups crushed chips on bottom. Combine chicken and tomato mix, spread over chips. Pour cheese
sauce over top, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chips, cheddar cheese and top with olives.
Bake in oven about 20 minutes til hot and bubbly, cheese melts and top is starting to brown. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish each serving with a bit
of chopped cilantro and a nice dollop of sour cream.
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Chef Tips and Tricks
These Cheesy Cauliflower Pizza Cups are just what you need when snack o'clock rolls around!
- 1/2 cauliflower head
- 8 eggs for cauliflower mix
- 4-6 cups shredded cheese
- 6 slices salami
- 6 tbsp pizza Sauce
- Boil diced cauliflower in salted water until tender.
- Blend, then transfer to mixing bowl.
- Mix in 2 eggs, pepper and 2 cups of shredded cheese
- Share the cauliflower mixture out between 6 ramekins, forming little cups
- Add 1 cup of shredded cheese
- Bake for 25 min at 375°F
- Add a slice of salami, a tbsp of pizza sauce, and one raw egg to each ramekin
- Top with cheese and return to oven for 7 min at 375°F
- Serve, and enjoy!