Olé! Let’s get all Mexican up in here! Are you a fan of Mexican food? Or should I say Tex-Mex? In Australia, we didn’t have much Mexican influence when I was growing up (why would we on the other side of the world?). All I knew about Mexican food was the big, yellow Old El Paso box, and I thought that stuff was the bees knees. It wasn’t until I was older that I realised that all the foods that I grew up calling Mexican, were actually Tex-Mex.
When I actually went to Mexico a couple of years ago, I was surprised at how different it was to what I knew as Mexican. Don’t get me wrong, real Mexican food is tay-sty, but it was completely different. One of my favourite things was the cups of corn kernels you can get from street vendors. They had the perfect amount of lime, chilli and cheese. Yummo! Less yum was the cricket taco I also tried whilst there. To be fair, it wasn’t awful (it was smothered in melty cheese, how could it be?), but the legs did tickle a bit on the way down. It was an experience though.
I can’t wait to go back to Mexico one day. I feel I didn’t do it foodie justice, because I didn’t make it to the Mecca of Mexican food – Oaxaca. But it is on my list, so it will happen. Just try and stop me!
But I’ve digressed a fair bit. Back to this Tex-Mex dish and how you should be making your way to the supermarket right this instance to get the ingredients for it. This Chicken Enchilada Casserole is super simple, suuuuper tasty and super freaking awesome! Imagine a regular enchilada, but 65 times more improved. I can’t really explain why it’s better, except that somehow the chicken to sauce to cheese to tortilla ratio is so much better than a regular enchilada. Everything is perfectly smooshed together when layers are involved.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
350-400g chicken breasts
500g enchilada sauce
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 flour tortillas
200-300g can refried beans
- Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
- Poach chicken: add chicken breasts to a medium saucepan, cover completely with cold water and bring to boil. Once the water is boiling, cover the saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from saucepan and set on a chopping board. Allow to cool slightly, then use two forks to shred the chicken. Divide chicken into 5 equal portions.
- Spread about ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the base of a 23cm round casserole dish (about 2.5L). Add one tortilla to the base of the casserole dish (you may need to trim tortillas to fit). Add a layer of refried beans, followed by one portion of shredded chicken, ⅓ cup of enchilada sauce and ⅓ cup grated cheese. Repeat to make a total of 6 layers, finishing with a final layer of tortilla, refried beans, enchilada sauce and grated cheese.
- Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving to avoid a sloppy mess.
Note: Enchilada sauce is more difficult to find in the UK and Australia. I made a basic enchilada sauce by combining 500g passata with 1 (30g) fajita seasoning packet and heating in a small frying pan until thickened slightly. It may not be authentic, but it’s got flavour.
Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum.