Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Papa's Chicken Tortilla Casserole

So, I have plenty of leftover chicken from when I made my Basic Roast Chicken and my Orange Sage Chicken. One of my go-to leftover chicken recipes is my dad's Chicken Tortilla Casserole. He made it a lot when I was growing up, and I find myself making it a lot now. He cooks like me (or rather I cook like him, since he taught me). No real measurements, just add what you have and do what feels right. He kinda made up a recipe and told it to me once,but there are no hard and fast measurements. It's just a super simple recipe that brings up countless happy food memories.
   I can think of three distinct memories from my young adult life.  Once I brought this to work (back when I only had one child and a job outside of the home) and a co-worker asked if she could taste it. She liked it so much she asked if I would make her some for her lunch the next day (and again the week after that). I also brought it to an end of the year/graduation pot luck in college and was hunted down afterwards by a classmate who had to have the recipe. My dad also taught this recipe to some church members for a cooking activity night.  Everyone raved, and I still know at least one member that says it's on her go-to recipe list. It seems to be liked by everyone (at least anyone who hasn't liked it was kind enough not to tell me).
   It was recently included in our church cook book and I like to think it's a nice addition (I should, since  was the one who put it in there.)  It's a basic recipe that lends itself well to alterations. So please, feel free to add whatever you have that you think might be good, and change it to suit your tastes.  :)

Here's what you'll need:

tortillas, cooking spray, shredded cheese, sour cream, salt, freshly ground black pepper, cream of chicken condensed soup, 1 small can of diced green chillies, cubed or shredded chicken
Pretty much, it's just a dump and stir recipe. The kids could even make it (if I cut the tortillas for them). 

In a large mixing bowl, add 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup, 1 cup or so sour cream (I just eye ball this. Error on the side of too much instead of not enough. - I used fat free - use whatever kind you like. I've also used plain fat free Greek yogurt with much success.), 1 small can of diced green chilies - juice and all (I had fire roasted, so that's what I used but the plain work well too.), 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican style, or Colby Jack, or Pepper Jack, again whatever you like . . . see a pattern?), a dash of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Stir it all together and add the shredded or chopped, cooked chicken. - I had 2 cups, so that's what I used this time. I think the recipe in the cook book only says 1 cup but the extra won't hurt.

Cut 5 large four tortillas into tiny squares. You can also do 10 small tortillas, if that's all you have. (I do this so it's easy for the kids to eat, and the tortillas kind of melt into the sauce a little. If you didn't want to do this step, just layer the tortillas in the baking dish alternately with the chicken mixture. -It would take 6 tortillas for 3 layers, starting and ending with tortillas - It would be more of a lasagna style this way.)
I suppose you could use corn tortillas, but I've never tried it. The texture wouldn't be as smooth, but it might work OK?

Stir the tortillas into the chicken mixture.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. (Don't forget to do this. The tortillas love to stick!)

Dump everything into the baking dish and smooth out the top.

Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes.
At that point take out the casserole and add more cheese to cover the top. (I like cheese, so I added at least another cup.)

Put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the casserole is nice and bubbly.

Let it set on the counter for 20 minutes before serving, so it has time to set up. Once it's set it cuts nicely, and it still soft and creamy with slightly crispy edges. Yumm!

**Now, I'm thinking to myself: "The oven is hot and my cookie stash in the freezer is stalked. . . . So many choices - Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chip, The Best Double Chocolate Cookies and Chewy Peanut Butter." -The double chocolate cookies won out in the end. I'm actually enjoying one now as I'm doing this post. I will eventually get around to making more of each of these cookie recipes, to replenish my stash. But if there is any one in particular that you would like the recipe to sooner than later, please let me know! I don't need much of a push to make cookies. :)  Now back to the recipe at hand.

Here's the recipe:

Papa's Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 10 3/4 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for the top)
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cubed or shredded, cooked chicken
5  10-inch flour tortillas, cut into squares

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spray 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Dump mixed ingredients into the baking dish and bake @ 350 for 20 minutes. Take out and cover the top with more shredded cheese. Put back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving, to set up.


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  2. Paul grew up on casseroles, and before he came along I don't think I had ever made one, other than lasagna, they just don't normally appeal to me. This one sounds tasty though, I am going to give it a try!

  3. I love casseroles! One dish that can cover the food groups and be prepared in advance. :)
    I hope you try this one, and let me know what you think. :)