Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Great for Cinco de Mayo: Chicken and Bean Casserole

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo.  If we had been more organized, we probably would have more recipes taylored specifically to Cinco de Mayo.  However, with the busyness of life, it snuck up on us and we weren't ready!  I do have one recipe that would be fitting to serve on Thursday: Chicken and Bean Casserole.  While it may not be authentic Mexican fare, it is tasty and has a Mexican flare (I honestly wasn't trying to make that rhyme). 

Chicken and Bean Casserole
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 cups diced chicken
1/2 cup diced onion
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup kidney beans
1 cup pinto beans (really, you can use whatever beans you happen to have on hand)
4.5 oz diced green chiles, drained
10 oz enchilada sauce
7-8 corn tortillas
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the chicken and onions along with the cumin, coriander, and chili powder until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from heat.  Add the beans and chiles.  A note on the chiles: I bought a 4.5 oz can of whole chiles and diced them myself.  They were cheaper than diced and I actually got more chiles out of it, since there was less juice than in the chopped cans.  Mix to combine.

Spread 1/3 of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 8-in square baking dish.  Place a layer of tortillas over the sauce, followed by half of the chicken mixture, half of the cheese (combine the two types of cheese), and half of the sour cream.

Add another 1/3 enchilada sauce, tortillas, remaining chicken mixture, followed by the remaining 1/3 of the sauce.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil; add the remaining cup of cheese and dot with the remaining sour cream.

Bake an additional 5-10 minutes.  Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with additional sour cream, olives, cilantro, green onion, and/or crumbled tortilla chips, if desired.

We didn't put any garnishes on ours, but I would have liked some olives and green onions.  Also, note that this isn't the most aesthetically appealing dish there is!
More Cinco de Mayo ideas:
Whatever you decide to serve tomorrow, we hope you have fun with it!

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