I had every intention of coming home last night and making enchiladas with some chicken we had left over from the weekend, but as you can see, that’s not exactly what I ended up doing. There was the ice storm. And the train delays. And by the time I finally got home it was VERY late and the last thing I was up for was frying individual tortillas and dipping them in sauce. So I punted, yet again, and ended up with something that had the flavor of enchiladas but was so ridiculously simple to put together I felt like I was cheating in a major way.
But it was so good we had two helpings each.
It’s amazing how any not-completely-from-scratch guilt just melts away when you’ve got a belly full of something good at the end of a long day.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
8 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Hot pepper sauce
12 corn tortillas
1 12.5-ounce jar best quality tomatillo salsa, or equivalent amount of homemade
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons dried oregano
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using 2 tablespoons of butter, generously grease the bottom and sides of a baking dish or cast iron skillet. In another skillet, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and allow it to cook for a few minutes, then add the milk and whisk until smooth and thickened. Add a small handful of the grated cheese and stir through. Season with salt and hot pepper sauce.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the cheese sauce into the bottom of the pan or baking dish, spreading it around. Add the shredded chicken to the remaining cheese sauce and stir through. Layer 4 tortillas on the bottom of the baking dish or cast iron skillet over the sauce. Spoon 1/3 of the salsa over the tortillas, then add half of the chicken/sauce mixture, half of the beans, a tablespoon of the oregano and 1/3 of the remaining cheese, distributing them fairly evenly. Cover with four more tortillas and repeat the layering. Top the next layer with the remaining tortillas, salsa and cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes and allow to rest briefly before slicing. Serve with sour cream or crema and chopped fresh cilantro.
Wine Pairing: We dipped into the mixed case we recently bought, selecting this 2006 Cuilleron Syrah. Mike and I both liked how it worked with our meal – lots of dark fruit and a bit of pepperiness which worked well with the richness and mild spiciness of the dish.