Chicken Enchilada Bake
We’re approaching the steamy time of year in New Orleans where all I want to eat is cucumber slices, Pimm’s Cups, and various chips and salsas. It’s not for the faint of heart… mmkay?
I was thinking we’d go ahead and call this our summer-vibing Hot Dish. The kind we bring to our friend’s pool parties. This is totally a summer casserole, don’t you think? Something to pile all those salsas on top of.
Also… here’s something to add to the to-do list: make sure to solidify friends with pools, acquire plastic tumblers and perfect your spritzy Pimm’s Cup recipe. In other words, we have to be the kind of people that people with pools want to invite over. Get into it.
This is one of those very flexible recipes that can be tailored to your taste. Maybe you’re more of a red sauce person? A shredded pork person? A green olive preference? Get after it. Consider this recipe a pile of very good, though very amiable suggestions.
Here’s what we’ll need:
• a dozen corn tortillas, lightly fried in oil and patted of their excess.
• chicken breasts, pan seared, cooked through and chopped into big bit-sized bits.
• green enchilada sauce, it’s mild and bright.
• chopped scallions, whites to greens.
• sliced black olives, really the best.
• grated Monterey Jack cheese, it’s so melty which is exactly what we want.
• sour cream, sliced avocado, lime wedges, and queso fresho for topping.
Once all our ingredients are assembled, we’re all about assembly. It’s really quite easy – like making soft nachos in a deep dish pan!
In a square baking dish (mine is somewhere between 8 and 9 inches) pour about 1/2 cup of green enchilada sauce.
Dip the fried tortillas in more sauce and layer them in the baking dish.
That chicken we fried up – that’s next into the baking dish. Half of the chicken is our second precious layer.
Grated cheese, lots of it. That’s the next layer. Consider it glue.
Sliced green onions and black olives. That little onion bite and creamy salty olive bite is simple and perfect.
Another layer of sauce-dipped tortillas. Four more!
And we’re back at it with another layer of cheese, the remaining chicken, and more of that green onion and black olive combination.
We’ll top the dish with one last sprinkle of cheese and whatever is left of the enchilada sauce.
Baked until bubbling (which really doesn’t take long at all) and topped with fresh green onions, more black olives, cilantro leaves, avocado chunks, and a sprinkling of queso fresco. Lime wedges and sour cream on the side just for kicks.
Enjoy the weekend!
Photos with my friend Jon Melendez.