I know I just posted a casserole, another Tex-Mex one, a couple weeks ago. Don’t be scared; I’m not changing to Casserole Like a Champion, but we have been eating a lot of casseroles around here lately. With our kitchen renovation still ongoing, simple meals are a necessity. If those meals can be made in one pan, even better.
This casserole is one of the best meals we’ve made recently. It has an interesting technique, which isn’t at all surprising considering it’s a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. Half the tortilla chips are mixed into the casserole at the beginning and help to thicken and flavor it. The remaining chips are mixed in at the end, just before broiling, and stay nice and crunchy. When Eric saw the ingredients, he couldn’t believe there wasn’t some type of seasoning listed. It’s true. All the spice comes from the chipotle peppers. This is one seriously good meal that you can have on the table in practically no time, and that’s definitely a win.
- YIELD: 4 servings
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1¾ cups chicken broth
5 cups tortilla chips, broken into large pieces
1 tomato, cored, seeded and chopped
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded (1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 10-inch, oven safe pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook on both sides until golden brown, 5-7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining oil, shallot, garlic, chipotle pepper and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the broth and scrape up any browned bits. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Stir in half the tortilla chips, then nestle the chicken into the broth and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred or chop into bite-size pieces.
Return the shredded chicken to the skillet, along with the tomato, ½ cup of cheese and 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Stir in the remaining tortilla chips until they are incorporated and moistened.
Heat a broiler and place the broiler pan about 6 inches away from the heat. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the casserole and broil until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 2-3 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.