One of my favorite dishes growing up in Southern California was Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole. My mother used canned Ortega green Chiles and I had no idea there was anything better until I got married and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. My husband and I grew quite addicted to Hatch green Chile. Hatch is a town in southern New Mexico known for it’s exceptionally hot chile. Green Chile chicken Enchiladas could be found all across the state and “Red or Green” was offered everywhere from McDonald’s to Village Inn for everything from scrambled eggs to hamburgers.
When we moved to Colorado, everything changed. Chile was available, but not nearly as abundantly or as spicy, even at authentic Mexican food restaurants. We had to do a thorough search of the freezer section of several local grocery stores to find Bueno Autumn Roast and I dusted off my old casserole recipe, with a few modifications.
Quick Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole
(Makes 2 large 9x12 inch casseroles)
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 - 26 oz can of cream of chicken soup
1- 13 oz container chopped green chile
4 cups finely chopped chicken
1 - 16 oz container of sour cream
1 - 22 count package of tostadas
6 cups of Mexican Cheese (or a cheddar and Jack cheese combination)
1. Preheat Oven to 350
2. Spray 2- 9x12 inch pans with cooking spray
3. Combine first five ingredients in a large pan and heat until bubbly
4. Spread a thin layer of this filling on the bottom of each pan.
5. Cover with tostadas. About 4-5 broken into pieces to fit. 16-20 total.
6. Spread another layer of sauce and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.
7. Repeat steps 5-6. Top the final layer with cheese.
8. Bake one casserole for 30 minutes.
9. Freeze the other casserole and save for another day.
1. Extra Crispy - Instead of cooking each tortilla, buy a bag of crispy, pre-made tostada shells. They will soften during cooking but won’t get soggy like fried or dipped tortillas often do.
2. Eat More Chicken - Instead of cooking or boiling a chicken yourself, buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. With the leftover chicken, make another meal like this hearty chicken, vegetable, pasta soup.
An alternative is to use canned chicken. To save money use more soup and less chicken.
3. Two for One - As long as you are going to all of that trouble to dirty all those pans, get in the habit of doubling the recipe and making another casserole to freeze. This recipe already provides enough ingredients for two large (or 4 small) casseroles. It doesn’t take that much longer and you will have an extra meal prepared for an especially busy work day.