It feels strange telling you about a Hatch chile dish in February, but that’s exactly what I’m doing thanks to the people at The Hatch Chile Store, who ship these fantastic fruity and hot chiles all over the country.
The Hatch chiles come in big frozen blocks and you can buy them in medium, hot or extra hot. Even the medium style are very spicy, so unless you are a die hard chile head, I recommend going with medium or hot and taming the heat by using them in a dish with creamy ingredients. They’re perfect in Texas favorites such as Enchiladas Suiza or in this case, Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
I rarely make casseroles the same way twice, but I took notes as I put this one together and plan on making it again in the very near future. The small bit of agave offsets the acid from the salsa verde and the spiciness of the chiles. As for the chicken, I cooked two very large bone-in chicken breast halves for two hours on high in the slow cooker and had fall off the bone white meat that worked perfectly in the dish.
Here’s the recipe, and if you’re interested in finding a big box of Hatch chiles on your door (a real treat in the middle of Winter or when you’re watching calories), check out The Hatch Chile Store.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, reduced fat is fine
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1/2 cup mild Salsa Verde (I use Herdez)
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup roasted peeled and chopped fresh hatch chiles, patted dry
- 2 cups (weighs 10 oz total after being cooked) shredded cooked chicken breast
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup shredded “Mexican Blend” type cheese or Monterrey Jack or Colby Jack
- 6 good quality soft corn tortillas
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease four individual casserole dishes (I use the square 22 oz Corningware type) with cooking spray.
- In a large nonstick saucepan, saute the chopped onion in oil until it starts to brown. Turn off the heat and stir in soup, sour cream, Salsa Verde, agave, garlic powder and Hatch green chiles.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the shredded chicken with cumin. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture into the chicken
- Spoon a very thin layer of the sauce from the skillet over bottom of each casserole dish.
- Cut tortillas into fourths. Lay two corn tortilla triangles in bottom of dish. Top with about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Repeat, layering two more triangles, 1/4 cup cup chicken mixture and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheese. Top with 2 more tortilla layers, then pour sauce over each casserole, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese over the top of each casserole.
- Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly.