Guest Post: Chicken Enchilada Casserole
I am so thrilled to introduce you all to my friends Suzanne and Sean! They're two of the most genuine folks you can find in this Real Food/Paleo food blog world and together they make up the Pastured Kitchen! I was able to spend a good amount of time with the dynamic duo this past Spring as we all stayed together in a HUGE home rental for the Paleo f(x) annual Austin conference. I learned a lot about these two! I learned that Suzanne makes dang tasty breakfast hash and enjoys staying up late as much as I do (read = not at all). I also learned that Sean, who suffered from severe epilepsy since childhood, found a way to almost forgo all his medications by way of a Paleo lifestyle. AMAZING! The two of them come together in the kitchen for some knockout recipes and come together around a trivia game for some serious competition. I have so enjoyed getting to know them and am thrilled that they offered to share this tasty recipe with you all!
Side note: they gave me a few to choose from, but I know how much you guys love chicken, casseroles, and Mexican food …so this bad boy rose to the top of an already awesome list. I highly recommend you check out their blog and other social media handles for more tasty goodness! You can find all their links at the bottom of this post.
Take it away Suzanne!
When we lived in LA, many of my girlfriends and I (and some boys, too!) would gather for weekly get-togethers to watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette or Dancing with the Stars. The food at these shindigs started out as snacks and the host doing all or most the cooking, then someone had a great idea: each week would have a different theme and we'd all cook something to go along with the theme. I love themes! One night my friend Leslie made this easy enchilada bake that was so fun and delicious. Instead of wrapping individual enchiladas, the tortillas were laid out across the layer like a lasagna. So clever. Ever since, I've wanted to re-create a Paleo version and now it's here! The Chicken enchilada Casserole is super simple and packs a punch of heat. It makes enough for a good crowd or enough for leftovers!
Traditional enchiladas follow this basic formula: a filling (meat, cheese, veggies, etc) wrapped in a corn tortilla and topped with spicy pepper sauce. Instead of corn tortillas, I opted to use Cappello's lasagna sheets – these things are so versatile! You can really make so many things out of the sheets. Made out of almond flour, it was the best option to replace the tortillas in the casserole. I let my package thaw in the fridge overnight so it would be nice and moveable for layering.
For the filling, we opted to use the meat off a rotisserie chicken to cut down on prep time. You could absolutely bake your own skinless chicken breasts and thighs, but using a good quality store-bought rotisserie chicken is a great time saver.
Next up, the pepper sauce. This enchilada sauce is so so spicy! Of course, I should say that I am a weenie when it comes to spice. Sean loves hot hot hot and I'm over here asking for things mild. I'm trying to increase my spice tolerance with baby steps. It's on my bucket list. To help cut the spice, top your casserole with avocado slices or guacamole – even if you like spicy, adding avocado to this is just the cherry on top. Now that I've got your stomach rumbling, Sean and I will leave you with the recipe! Enjoy!
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Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Yield: 8 servings
- Meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed (about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken)
- 1 package Cappello's Lasagna Sheets
- 1 batch Enchilada sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup duck fat
- 2 6 ounce cans tomato paste
- 1 4 ounce can green chiles
- 2 tablespoons cassava flour
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1-2 tablespoons chipotle powder (see note)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- sea salt to taste
- Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Melt duck fat.
- Once duck fat is melted, whisk in cassava flour forming a roux and cook 1 minute. The roux should have a texture of wet sand.
- Add chili powder and chipotle powder and cook an additional minute.
- Add tomato paste, green chiles, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, chicken broth, oregano, and cumin and stir to evenly combine.
- Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will slowly thicken and become smooth.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Coat the bottom of a 9×11 inch casserole dish with a scoop of the enchilada sauce. This will prevent scorching while it bakes.
- Using your hands, pull chicken meat apart until in uniform shredded strips and place in a large mixing bowl. Add enchilada sauce to shredded chicken and stir until evenly combined. Make sure you leave about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce to spread over the top of the casserole.
- Add an even layer of lasagna sheets over the enchilada sauce.
- Spread 1/2 of the chicken mixture over lasagna sheets.
- Repeat layering method once more. You should be out of chicken mixture after two layers.
- Top casserole with another set of lasagna sheets and spread remaining enchilada sauce over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve and enjoy!
If you want the sauce spicy, use 2 tablespoons of the chipotle powder, otherwise use 1 tablespoon.