Craig’s Kitchen: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Quick, simple, and easy to make in about an hour!

Too many recipes SAY that’s the case, but this one really is. It’s also more like assembling a robot than actual cooking. You’ll see what I mean. This tasty dish is simple but delicious and can easily feed a family of three. To make more, just double the recipe and use a 9″x12″ casserole dish instead. The key is to use quality ingredients. You can make this on the cheap but you pretty much get out what you put in. When I cook it, it tastes quite yummy with a nice blend between sauce, corn tortilla, gooey cheese, and hearty chicken to fill your stomach.

Quality ingredients always make for a better taste

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-cooked whole roasted chicken
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 8oz Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 8oz packets of Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce or Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • 8″x8″ casserole dish
  • Cheese grater
  • Bowl wide enough to dip corn tortillas in

Directions

  1. Shred your chicken into manageable strips.
  2. Grate your cheese using medium sized holes. Set aside.
  3. Pour enough sauce to cover the bottom of the casserole dish.
  4. Pour the rest of the sauce into a bowl for dipping
  5. Take each individual corn tortilla and dip it in the sauce. Make sure both sides are lightly covered. Put it on the cutting board.
  6. Put a generous amount of chicken and cheese inside remembering you are filling up 6 enchiladas
  7. Roll up the enchilada and place it in the dish, seam side down.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 until the dish is full!
  9. Pour the rest of the sauce left in the bowl over the enchiladas evenly so it’s nicely coated.
  10. Add the rest of the cheese to the tops of each enchilada generously.
  11. Bake in a 350 degree oven (or toaster oven) for abut 30 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted
This was from my first attempt back in 2016 – they still look pretty much the same!
Director’s Cut Commentary
  • Chicken! – I usually get a pre-cooked whole roasted chicken from Whole Foods because I love that they use Mary’s air-chilled chicken and because they taste great. Typically I get the classic roasted because I don’t want the lemon or bbq flavors competing in the dish. You can be adventurous and cook up your own chicken though! I love making fajita chicken and it would work great in this recipe so be adventurous.
  • 6 Corn tortillas – This ingredient is the KEY to me. Get a good one. Not the kind that will fall apart as you roll it, but one that has some durability. Also, you want one that TASTES good. So many corn tortillas are bland and unfulfilling. If possible, get some homemade corn tortillas. Many local restaurants will make them so grab them if you can.
  • 8oz block of your favorite cheese (or cheeses) – We love both pepper jack and cheddar. Typically, you’d go with Monterey Jack cheese so if you want to go the traditional route, that’s the best way. But here again you can mix it up. Experiment with what you like. Jack cheese is nice and mild with a tiny tang to it which pairs well with the sauce (whether you use red or green). Cheddar is more of a red sauce pairing. It’s bite goes well with the flavors of the red sauce. And if you’re going the cheddar route, make sure to use sharp cheddar rather than mild.
  • 2 Packets of Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce – I’ve tried different ones, and like this one the best. Their Green Chile Enchilada Sauce is also great. You can get it from Whole Foods, Amazon, or your local grocery store. If you want to make your own, go for it! But if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to sacrifice quality, this one is the one I use. However, go with what your taste buds crave! Lots of Mexican restaurants sell their sauces, too or you can find sauces at your local grocer that are often homemade.

I shred the chicken into manageable strips to make it easy for the person who is eating it to cut through the enchilada with just a fork or at most a butter knife, and also so the sauce and cheese mix in during cooking more effectively, spreading around that awesome goodness. For the cheese, I like using the medium holes to give it more PUNCH! No need for the fine delicacy of the tiny holes. Also, please don’t buy pre-shredded cheese. While it’s edible, freshly grated cheese tastes way better. Plus, the pre-shredded cheese is coated with something so it won’t stick to each other but that fine coating messes up the flavor profile when cooking (at least it does to me). And I found that pouring sauce on the bottom just to lightly coat it makes it not only taste better, but helps prevent it from becoming sticky.

You are DONE! See how easy that was? And so delicious. This recipe is like building a robot because you’re basically assembling the parts and making something great out of the pieces. You CAN cook each individual part and I’m sure it would taste even more delicious, but sometimes you don’t have a week to cook the chicken, make fresh tortillas, milk the cow and turn it into cheese, and create your own sauce. I hope you’ll enjoy this favorite of mine! You can also add other stuff like green ortega chiles (again, I use the stuff out of a can for convenience because I like them cooked already) or top it with tomatoes, your favorite salsa, etc. Go nuts!

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