Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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Who doesn’t love Mexican food?  Here in SoCal, it’s a staple in nearly every household and I grew up eating some of the best in the nation because we had a huge Hispanic population in my home town of San Pedro.

While I’m pretty sure this isn’t an actual “Mexican” dish as much as a play on traditional Mexican food, it’s a huge favorite with everyone in my family and a great way to feed a lot of people.  You can save time by using a roasted chicken from the grocery store, but I often use a whole chicken to make stock with, then use the cooked chicken  for this dish afterwards.  Even random chicken pieces – thighs, breasts, whatever you have available – will be tasty.

This casserole can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the frig and – as with many casseroles – it’s even yummier the next day.  By making a slight alteration, use this exact recipe to make actual Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.   Just roll chicken and cheese in whole tortillas, line them up like nice little soldiers in the dish, cover with sauce and cheese, then bake.

Serve with dollops of sour cream and guacamole, and a fresh green salad on the side.  And if you like your Mexican food at Five Alarm temps, spice it up with additional chili powder and a hotter enchilada sauce.

CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

4-5 cups cooked chicken, shredded

2 large cans  (28 oz)  mild  green  enchilada sauce

4 -5 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Large flour tortillas,cut into wide strips

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and Cumin

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

Use several tablespoons of sauce in the  bottom of the pan to give  it  a  slight  coating.   Cover the bottom   with  a  layer of the tortillas.

Sprinkle top of tortillas with half of the shredded chicken meat. Season with salt,  pepper,  garlic  powder  and cumin to taste.  Cover this with enchilada sauce.  Sprinkle 1½ cups shredded  cheese  on  the  top  of  the sauce.

Repeat layering:  Tortillas, remainder of chicken, seasoning, sauce and cheese.

Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes or cheese is completely melted and golden, and the casserole is bubbly.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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