It’s finally (finally!) cooling off here, and so I can justify all of my soups, stews and casseroles. In honor of the cold weather (what? 55° is cold for Miamians!), I made a spicy Chicken Enchilada Casserole with a crumbly, cheesy tortilla crust.
This casserole reminds me of a 7-layer dip, even though you’ll find no canned chili or cream cheese in here. You start with a layer of brown rice, then follow up it with layers of beans, hominy, sauteed onions and poblano peppers, shredded chicken, Enchilada sauce, corn tortilla dough and shredded cheddar cheese. Into the oven for 35 minutes, and out comes a slightly spicy, bubbly, cheesy casserole of goodness.
This dish can be made a day or two in advance and baked just before you’re ready to eat. I suspect you could easily freeze the casserole whole for those times when you find your fridge and pantry bare (a trend in my house lately).
Tom loved this casserole, and I gotta say, it’s crazy delicious in that messy comfort food kind of way. I can’t wait to get into the leftovers, and I’m thinking about making another batch soon to stock the freezer. There’s just nothing better than a cheesy, melty casserole and a chilly beer to welcome the fall.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
2 cups masa harina
1 cup water
1 tbsp. salt
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (no skin or bones)
3 cups cooked brown rice (I use the frozen Whole Foods rice)
2 15 oz. cans black or kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 poblano peppers, thinly sliced
1 15 oz. can hominy (optional – or use frozen corn)
4 cups Enchilada sauce (I like Hot, but you can use Mild if you prefer)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375° and grease your biggest casserole dish (I think mine is 8″ by 11″ and 3″ deep). Now, make your tortilla dough by mixing the masa harina, water and salt together in a bowl until there are no big dry crumbs. Set aside.
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, onions and peppers. Saute until the onions begin to get translucent and a little brown, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Now, assemble your casserole. Add the rice to the greased casserole dish in an even layer, then repeat with the beans, peppers and onions, hominy and chicken. Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the dish, using a silicone spatula to spread it out.
Add your tortilla crust by dumping the masa flour over the top of the casserole and using your fingers to crumble and spread the dough in an even layer over the top. It’s ok if your dough is a little dry – the Enchilada sauce and cheese will moisten it a bit. Finally, spread the shredded cheese over the top.
Place in the center of the oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Makes 8 servings.