Chicken Enchilada Casserole

So simple, so delicious! Another one. Yes, I could potentially eat this everyday. The optional sour cream and cilantro gives a fresh, zingy creaminess to the meaty spice of the completed casserole. Does that make sense? You have to try it! It will be a potluck request!

enchilada-casserole

In my experience, frozen chicken breasts cook perfectly on High in the Crock-Pot in four hours. I have had to remove them to shred and clean out the pot. This Dubliner cheese from Costco was in the fridge, so it went into this recipe. It’s a very nice, mild cheddar mix and it’s also very versatile. It’s worked well in Mexican dishes and Italian dishes. The carrots, shallots, and celery cooked in the pot with the chicken, and I ended up having to rinse them to get the chicken protein goo off of them. Luckily now, I have the second pot to cook the chicken separately making that a much easier task. I was trying to finish this recipe in four hours and without the Mexican beer…I had to improvise a bit.

Here’s what I did:

3 large frozen chicken breasts, lightly salt and peppered

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

Cook in Crock-Pot on High for 4 hours. Remove chicken when done, shred with fork and tongs. Removing ceramic pot from base, dump into a colander what’s still in the pot. Using a rubber spatula, scrape anything else out of pot. Return pot to base. Rinse contents of colander with kitchen hose removing chicken goo. 

3 cups cheese, shredded (with a grater while chicken was cooking)

1 can (19 ounces) enchilada sauce (recipe below)

7 ounces tortilla chips

1 shallot, chopped

1 lime

Optional: sour cream, fresh cilantro (both of which I highly recommend!)

Layer ½ cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pot, one third of tortilla chips, 1/3 of the shredded chicken and veggie mix, and one cup of cheese. Repeat. Squeeze lime (cut in half) to juice over top, discard peel and seeds. Cook on Low until cheese is melted, up to 4 hours or High for 2 hours.

enchilada-casserole-pr
Random nachos (snack while cooking) using extra cheese and chips, bottom left photo.
You could theoretically cook the chicken with salt and pepper in one pot on High for 4 hours and everything else in a second pot on Low for 4 hours. When they’re both done, clean up and shred the chicken, plate it, and top it with the yum from the other pot. It will be hot and fresh. The leftovers may be better in that the meat will have had time to sit in the sauce, but it won’t have that same fresh-cooked taste. Either way, it’s utterly delectable!

enchilada-sauce

 

 

I made enchilada sauce instead of buying it in a can and used chili powder that I could find, olive oil that I already had, the Bullet to blend it all, and the following recipe as a guide. It keeps very well in the fridge. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/61727/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/

 

 

Cerveza Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Recipes (binder), p. 65. Publications International, Ltd. Lincolnwood, 2013.

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