Tex-Mex Chicken Casserole
To keep this truly a one-pot dish, everything could be stirred into and baked in the Dutch oven, but the presentation is more attractive if this casserole is made as explained in the instructions.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 8–10
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 12 cups crusted tortilla chips
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
- 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch dried red pepper flakes, crushed
- 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
Combine the chicken, broth, wine, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, peppercorns, oregano, and bay leaves in an ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Pour all the contents of the pan into a bowl and allow the chicken to cool in the poaching liquid.
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Wipe out the Dutch oven. Add the butter and heat on medium until melted. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes, or until the mushrooms are browned and all the liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the flour, stir to blend, and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in about 1 ½ cups of the chicken cooking liquid; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
Crush the tortilla chips and add them in a layer to the bottom of a 9" × 13" casserole dish treated with nonstick spray. Pour the remaining broth over the tortilla chips. Once the broth is absorbed by the crushed chips, scatter the chicken over the top of the tortilla layer. Spread the onions, bell peppers, and jalapeños in layers evenly over the chicken. Top with half of the grated cheeses.
Mix together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper, ground coriander, cayenne, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes; sprinkle over the cheeses. Spoon the mushroom mixture evenly over the top of the spices, then top with the tomatoes and green chilies. Cover with all the remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the casserole is heated through. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.