Baked Mexican Organic Chicken Casserole

Bubbly Mexican Chicken Casserole? Yes please! I mean just writing this recipe for you is making me crave it. After developing this recipe, I made it twice in less than two weeks. The first time with chicken breasts and the second with chorizo. Either work just fine, the chorizo will just give it more kick. I also made these in traditional cazuelas from Spain so everyone could have their own sizzling dish. If you’re not familiar with cazuelas, they keep your food HOT through the entire course of your meal. I highly recommend picking up a set for your kitchen. Baking aside, they can be used for entertaining as they are beautifully glazed pots. If you want to speed up the meal, you can use canned red enchilada sauce instead of my sauce recipe below.

DIRECTIONS (Serves four):

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, sauté onion in oil until soft and translucent. Add tomato sauce and remaining ingredients. Stir and simmer on low while preparing other portions of the casserole.

Remaining Directions:
4 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 lbs of organic, free-range chicken breast strips cut into bite size pieces. Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and set aside.
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 red pepper, seeded, veins removed and sliced
1 green pepper, seeded, veins removed and sliced
1 yellow pepper, seeded, veins removed and sliced
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped (seeded if you don’t want the spice)
1 – 15 ounce can organic black beans (drained and rinsed with fresh water)
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1 ripe avocado, pit removed and chopped.
sour cream
crumbled tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Pour a little bit of the sauce in each cazuela just enough to coat the bottom. Set aside. Warm up each tortilla and then place atop the sauce lined cazuela. In a large sauté pan over medium high stovetop heat, pour in canola oil and sauté onions and peppers for about 3 minutes. Add chicken and sauté for about 5 minutes and add black beans and corn. Pour in remaining sauce and turn heat to low. Add cilantro, salt, and pepper and stir. Turn off the heat and pour ingredients into individual cazuelas. Top each cazuela with the cheese and then the tortilla chips. Place each on the center oven rack and cook for about 20 minutes, or until cheese and chips look a bit crispy. Remove from oven and top with a few dollops of sour cream and avocado.

Wine Pairing:
Mexican flavors are strong and this dish has a little spice to it, depending if you include the jalapeño seeds or not, so you will want a wine that won’t overpower these flavors. Sangiovese from Itlay, Garnacha from Spain (or Grenache from France), and Carménère from Chile are all excellent red wines for this hearty dish!



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