Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

Made with corn tortillas instead of noodles, this spicy lasagna will satisfy your taste buds when you want something Italian and Tex-Mex. Serve with homemade guacamole and chips for the crunch!

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3-4 Tbsp. Taco seasoning (I use Frontier Co-op Mexican spice blend)
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
14 1/2 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce or 1/2 can tomato paste for a thicker sauce
4 oz. can green chilies
12 6-inch round corn tortillas
10 oz. homemade or canned "hot" enchilada sauce (I use La Preferida brand)
8 oz. sour cream
1 small bunch green onions, chopped with green tops (about a cup)
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds can be included or removed)
3 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil, add chicken, Mexican spice, salt and pepper and fry until chicken is just cooked (pink is gone). Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and mix. Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce or paste and green chilies to the chicken. Stir and cook to boiling, then turn down and simmer slowly, keeping chicken warm while you prep for assembly.

Add 1 Tbsp. enchilada sauce to the sour cream and set aside. Mix the green onions and jalapeno peppers and set aside. Cut 9 of the tortillas in half, leave 3 of them whole.

Place about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 11 1/2 X 9 1/2 inch pan. Place 6 halves and 1 whole tortilla over the enchilada sauce. Next spoon half the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, sprinkle half the onion-fresh jalapeno mixture on top, then about 1 cup of cheese, followed by half the sour cream. Spread the sour cream lightly to cover the cheese.

Add another layer of tortillas (6 halves and 1 whole), then repeat with chicken, onion-jalapenos, cheese, and sour cream. This should fill up the dish almost to the top.

Add a final layer of corn tortillas (6 halves and 1 whole) to completely cover the top of the cheese-sour cream. Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas.

Bake for 20 minutes. Top the enchilada sauce with the final cup of shredded cheese and continue baking for at least 10 minutes or as much as an additional 20 minutes. The lasagna should bubble around the edges and cheese and edges brown slightly. You may want to put a drip pan under the lasagna in case it drips or boils over.

Remove from oven and let it rest 10 minutes. Cut and serve with guacamole, chips. lettuce salad, tomatoes, black olives or whatever you like! Makes 8 very generous servings.

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