Recipe of the Week: Chicken Enchilada Casserole, by Mrs. Hugh Latimer

This is a very easy recipe and one of our family’s long-time favorites. However, I also have a camping (or emergency/SHTF) version of it that is almost as good. I’m going to give you both versions, as a sneak peak for recipes I’m assembling to share in an upcoming food preparation cookbook, which has not yet been titled. (We produce and store most of the food we consume, including spices and even some medicines and teas, so stay tuned. It’s in “the works”. We also enjoy scrumptious meals regardless of where we find ourselves (at home, on the road, on the trail, or in one of our bug out locations), as it is my belief that God blessed us with the senses for a reason…to enjoy them. So, I like my kitchen to resonate with pleasant flavors and aromas from around the world for diversity as well as the hearty, comfort foods that Mr. Latimer and I grew up with in various parts of the good ‘ole U.S.A. Like the nation, our friends and family are comprised of people with various heritages, all bringing tasty flavors that eventually become somewhat Americanized. We enjoy most all of these in some form or fashion on our dining table and have them ready their ingredients ready for when times get a LOT more difficult. I hope to share recipes, resources, and ideas for how you can enjoy these nutritious, tasty, and easy-to-prepare foods, beverages, and basic remedies, too.

Fresh At Home Version:

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lawry’s seasoned salt, to taste
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces roasted New Mexican green chili, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup green chili sauce (or a simmered mixture of 4 ounces extra chopped green chili plus 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 1 roma tomato, finely diced)
  • 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese,
  • 15-18 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (for added heat) or paprika (for no added heat)

Directions

  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with seasoned salt and saute in skillet with olive oil over medium high heat for about 15 minutes, until cooked through and golden browned on both sides. Remove from pan and chop into small bite-size pieces or shred.
  2. In a bowl, combine chopped onion, chopped green chili, sour cream, and green chili sauce; mix thoroughly.
  3. Spray or coat a large 9×13 casserole dish with oil.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup of the sour cream mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  5. Add a layer of corn tortillas, covering the bottom of the dish and overlapping the tortillas as needed.
  6. Sprinkle half of chicken on top of the tortillas and spread 1 cup of sour cream mixture on top. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese over sour cream mixture.
  7. Repeat tortilla, chicken, sour cream, and cheese layers.
  8. Top with a lay of tortillas and spread the remaining sour cream mixture (approximately 1/2 cup) over them.
  9. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese and then sprinkle cheese with either cayenne pepper or paprika, depending upon whether you like a hot heat taste (cayenne) or not (paprika).
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 35-45 minutes, until bubbly, and cheese is melted throughout and beginning to brown on edges.
  11. Suggestions: Serve with tortilla chips, pinto beans, a green salad, and sopapillas with honey for dessert.

Camping Version (Individual Chicken Enchiladas):

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freeze-dried Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cans of cooked, cubed or shredded chicken, drained (broth reserved for reconstituting freeze-dried items, as needed)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped (or 2 Tbsp of dried onion, rehydrated in chicken broth from canned chicken)
  • 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 3 small cans of chopped green chili, drained (liquid reserved for use in reconstituting freeze-dried items, as needed)
  • 1 cup sour cream (or reconstituted freeze-dried sour cream)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 15 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (for added heat) or paprika (for no added heat)

Directions

  1. Combine freeze-dried cheese with 1/4 cup of tepid temperature broth (not hot or you’ll melt cheese). Cover and set aside.
  2. If using dried onion, in a small container or plastic bag combine onion and broth from canned chicken to rehydrate. Let sit at least 15 minutes, until onion is soft. Can speed this up by warming.
  3. In a large, heavy pan or skillet, combine canned chicken, onion, green chili, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup. Heat over medium temperature, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Remove from heat.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, add 1Tbsp of oil to coat it well, and heat over medium-high heat. Add a corn tortilla and heat for 10-15 seconds, flipping and heating for another 10 seconds. Remove from the skillet. Place on a serving plate with about 2 Tbsp of the chicken-sour cream mixture in the middle. Roll up. Spoon a bit (1 Tbsp) of the sour cream mixture over the outside of the filled tortilla and top with 1-2 Tbsp of Monterrey Jack cheese and a tiny splash of cayenne pepper or paprika.
  5. Repeat step 4, adding more oil as necessary to keep tortillas from sticking, until all of the contents have been used.
  6. Suggestion: Serve with Refried Beans, fried corn tortilla triangles, and Foraged Spring Dandelion Salad.

Links

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