I’m a lazy football fan. If the game is on I’ll watch it, but more likely as background noise than something I’m riveted to my couch to watch. I considered it much like golf or pro bowling. Turn the volume down, and it makes nice company for a lazy sunday nap. That’s before I moved to the pacific northwest.
Up until last year, my loyalties to gridiron gladiator were somewhat anemic. I’d cheer the local guys, happy if either one made it all the way, but not particularly undone if they didn’t. If invited to a Super Bowl party, I’d try to match my outfit (or at least my socks) to the team color, but beyond that, no major effort was made. Then I landed here. Sure it helped that the local team not only made it, but won the BIG show last year. But here was something else too. In a world of jerseys and painted faces (and guts, which takes a lot of guts to do when you’re in Green Bay or Buffalo), I was given a number. Suddenly I wasn’t just a fan, I was part of the team. I know the phrase “the 12th man” is not new to football, but these guys had a flag. I’m a sucker for a flag.
So this afternoon, when the hype stops and the game begins, I’ll be firmly behind the blue and white flag. The 12th man now has a 12th woman too. GO HAWKS!!
This recipe came about yesterday morning when I needed to clean out some room in the fridge. Seriously. I have some recipe development projects to start for a client in the coming week, along with truffle orders for Valentine’s Day, and needed space. I actually LOVE recipes like this. It uses up leftovers while satisfying a couch full of hungry fans, and the variations are endless.
This recipe truly is the height of laziness. The bones are familiar, basically a redux of my basic enchilada recipe that I shared a few weeks ago. But as I piled the ingredients up on my counter, the thought of warming the tortillas, then dishing out quarter cups of filling and rolling just wasn’t looking like much fun. See what I mean…lazy.
However, what if I just laid the tortillas in the casserole dish, and layered everything on top? Lazy Chicken Enchiladas has all the best parts of the original, but far less fuss.
Lazy Chicken Enchiladas
- 1 16 oz. jar of your favorite enchilada sauce (about 2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie is fine, or bake/poach about 12 oz. of boneless skinless breasts, thighs or a combo of both)
- 10-12 corn tortillas, cut in 1/2
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of cheddar and mozzarella)
- 2 oz. block of havarti, muenster, or jack cheese, sliced thin (I do this will a vegetable peeler – works great!)
- 1/2 cup drained and diced pickled hot peppers (I used peppadews)
- 1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, cumin and chili powder
- 1/2 tsp each of salt and black pepper
Preheat over to 400F.
Add the thawed and dried chopped spinach and the diced hot peppers in a bowl, along with the garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and mix well. Put aside 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese for the top, and add in the rest and toss until combined.
Put 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish (I used my 8 1/2″ x11″ dish.) Layer in a third of the tortilla halves. I halved the tortillas so they were easier to line the pan and cover the sauce. Now, like a lasagna, add half the spinach/pepper/cheese mixture, top with half the shredded chicken, and drizzle over a third of the remaining sauce. Do another layer of tortillas, filling, chicken and sauce, then finish with the last third of the tortillas and sauce, making sure to spread the sauce so it covers the tortillas.
Layer the thin slices of cheese over the top, and sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover with a sheet of oiled foil (helps keep the cheese from sticking), and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned a little.
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