MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Even with the weather warming up, there’s room for a good casserole, and Mexican Chicken Casserole is good. The tortilla chips on the bottom of this casserole combine with the salsa to form a bottom soft polenta crust, while the tortillas on the top are nice and crunchy. No leftovers–again.

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2-1/2 cups lightly crushed tortilla chips, divided

12 chicken tenderloins

1-16 oz jar salsa (I used Pace brand)

1-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (I went spicy with this and used Cabot’s Hot Habanero)

2 green onions, sliced thin

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly oil a large casserole dish

2) Scatter 1-1/2 cups tortilla chips (reserving 1 cup) over bottom of casserole dish; top with chicken tenderloins (a single layer); pour salsa over chicken; cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven 40 minutes

3) Remove aluminum foil; scatter reserved 1 cup tortilla chips over top, followed by cheese, green onions, and tomatoes; bake 5 minutes longer and serve

Servings: 4

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HOT-OR-COLD CHICKEN POTATO SALAD

Hot or cold, you can’t go wrong with this potato salad. Hot, it’s fabulous as an entree–think “casserole.” Cold, it’s a fabulously tasty side. If you decide to prepare it as a side, skip the baking step and mix in the cheese as the final step before refrigerating and, prior to serving, sprinkle parsley over top. Scrumptious!

Hot-Or-Cold Chicken Potato Salad

1-1/2 lbs small potatoes (I used the itty bitty honey gold potatoes)

2 tbsp olive oil

1-1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried tarragon

3/4 cup light mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp champagne wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup grated Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil a medium-sized casserole dish

2) Put potatoes in large saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through but still on the firm side; remove from heat, drain water, and set aside

3) Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and sprinkle salt, pepper, and tarragon over top; cook, stirring often, 5-6 minutes until chicken is cooked through; remove from heat and set aside

4) To small mixing bowl add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice; mix until well combined; set aside

5) Quarter potatoes and place in large bowl; add chicken and pour mayonnaise sauce over top; gently mix ingredients, careful to not break up potatoes; spoon potato-chicken mixture into casserole dish and bake in oven 20 minutes; sprinkle cheese over top and bake additional 5 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4 as an entree; 8-10 as a side

CHICKEN-BACON BAKE WITH MALT VINEGAR-POTATO CRUST

This dish could mean trouble in waist land, but I did my best to cut calories where I could without sacrificing too much taste. Regarding those cut calories, did I choose well? Senior and Junior Too (should have been home for this one, Junior), devoured every last bite and then came the chorus: “Is there more?” Sorry, no.
Chicken-Bacon Bake with Potato-Malt Vinegar Crust

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

4 slices bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon)

1 cup onion, diced (red or yellow)

1 celery stalk, diced

2 cups cooked chicken (I used deli-roasted)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried tarragon

1/4 cup white cooking wine (or un-cooking wine)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 large baking potato, peeled and sliced quite thin

1 tbsp + 1 tsp malt vinegar

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp minced parsley

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly grease medium-sized casserole dish

2) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp); add bacon and cook until crispy; add onion and celery and, stirring occasionally, cook 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium and add chicken, salt, pepper, tarragon, cooking wine, and coconut milk; stirring occasionally, cook 5 minutes; remove from heat, spoon into casserole dish, and bake in oven 20 minutes

3) Meanwhile, wipe out skillet; add reserved 2 tbsp olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high; add sliced potatoes and fry 2-3 minutes each side until crispy; arrange potato slices over casserole, drizzle with malt vinegar, and scatter Parmesan cheese over top; return to oven and bake additional 5 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven and scatter parsley over top; serve it up!

Servings: 4 (though my guys made it 3)

CHICKEN CHILE RELLENO RICE BAKE

What to serve for a nice, small gathering? This Chicken Chile Relleno Rice Bake went over well with our guests. It’s tasty, filling, and practically stress-free to get on the table.

Chicken Chile Relleno Rice Bake

spray olive oil

2 cups white rice (I used Arboria Italian Rice)

2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1-1/2 cups light sour cream

3-4 oz cans diced mild green chiles, undrained

3 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken

2 cups grated Pepper jack cheese, divided

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees; spray large casserole dish with olive oil spray

2) Cook rice according to package directions

3) Meanwhile, in large bowl mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chiles, chicken, 1-1/2 cups cheese (reserving 1/2 cup for topping), salt, and pepper

4) Mix rice into soup mixture and spread in prepared casserole dish; bake in oven 25 minutes; sprinkle panko breadcrumbs over top, lightly spray with olive oil, and bake additional 20 minutes; sprinkle 1/2 cup reserved cheese over top and bake additional 5 minutes; serve

Servings: 8

CHICKEN COBBLER

I seem to be on a chicken kick, but it’s such a wonderfully versatile and tasty meat that it definitely deserves all that extra attention. This chicken cobbler/casserole was a hit, as evidenced by the refrain: “Is there more?” Sorry, guys.

Chicken Cobbler

spray olive oil

5 tbsp melted butter, divided

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

4 cups cubed baguette (or sourdough or ciabatta–any works)

1 large red onion, diced

1 cup white cooking wine

1-10 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (or 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes or red bell pepper)

3 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken (in a pinch, canned chicken breast works well)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees; lightly grease 4 small casserole dishes (or 1 large casserole dish) with spray olive oil

2) In large mixing bowl, stir together 4 tbsp melted butter (reserving 1 tbsp), Parmesan cheese, and parsley; add bread cubes and toss to coat well; set aside

3) In large skillet, melt reserved 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat; add onions and cook, stirring often, 10-12 minutes until soft and golden brown; lower heat to medium and stir in cooking wine, cream of chicken soup, sun-dried tomatoes, and chicken; cook 5-7 minutes until heated through

4) Remove onion-chicken mixture from heat and divide between 4 casserole dishes; top with bread cubes and cook in oven 12-15 minutes until golden brown; remove from oven and serve

Servings: 4

LOADED POTATO-CHICKEN BAKE

As good as this potato-chicken bake is, it should be more difficult to get it from cutting board to table. Is it the Gold potatoes that make it so good? The chicken? The cheese? All and more. Thumbs up!

Loaded Potato-Chicen Bake

spray olive oil

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

4 medium potatoes, cubed (I used Gold potatoes and didn’t peel)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1-1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1-10 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup milk

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp paprika

3/4 cup shredded colby-jack cheese blend

2 green onions, sliced thin

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Optional: sour cream

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly coat 9×13 casserole dish with olive oil cooking spray

2) To large skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp) and heat over medium-high heat; add potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook 10 minutes, stirring often; spoon potatoes into casserole dish and set aside

3) Lower skillet heat to medium and add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil; add chicken and onion to skillet and, stirring often, cook 6-7 minutes until chicken is nearly cooked through; stir chicken and onion mixture into potatoes; set aside

4) To a medium bowl add soup, milk, parmesan cheese, and paprika; mix well and pour over potato-chicken-onion mixture; bake in oven 30 minutes; sprinkle cheese, onions, and parsley over casserole and cook additional 5 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven and serve with or without sour cream

Servings: 4-6 (depending on appetite, of course)

LOADED BUFFALO CHICKEN HASHBROWN CASSEROLE

What happens when you combine a loaded baked potato (of sorts) with buffalo wings? You get a super taste sensation that makes the guys reach for seconds. Yes ma’am, they did!

 

olive oil cooking spray

3 cups shredded deli-roasted chicken

2/3 cup buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s brand)

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup ranch dressing

3-1/2 cups frozen hashbrowns, thawed

1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack blend cheese

8 slices turkey bacon, fried and chopped

3 green onions, sliced thin

3 tbsp light sour cream

1) Heat oven to 425 degrees

2) Spray 10×10″ baking dish (9×13″ works fine too) with cooking spray

3) In medium bowl, mix chicken and buffalo sauce; spoon into baking dish

4) In medium bowl, mix melted butter and ranch dressing; add hashbrowns and mix well to coat; spoon hasbrowns over chicken; bake 20-25 minutes until hashbrowns turn golden and lightly crisp

5) Meanwhile, in medium bowl mix cheese, bacon, and onions; evenly scatter cheese-bacon mixture over casserole and bake additional 3-4 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven; spoon sour cream into small zip top bag, snip lower corner, and pipe sour cream over casserole; serve

Serves: 6