This Mexican chicken casserole recipe comes from my son’s mother-in-law and my good friend Susana. It is also known as Pastel Azteca. Susy makes this Mexican chicken casserole for brunches or lunches or whenever she wants everyone to lick their fingers and just be plain happy.
Although this Mexican chicken casserole recipe takes sometime — between the preparation of the salsa, frying of the tortillas and shredding of the chicken — I highly recommend it to you. You will love every single bite you take of this scrumptious and exquisite dish.
Here is what you are going to need for this wonderfully delicious Mexican chicken casserole:
3 cups husked tomatillos
3 garlic cloves – peeled
1 ½ cups cilantro – leaves and stems
1 large jalapeño chili – seeded and membrane removed
1 small white onion – finely chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
24 thin corn tortillas
½ cup Canola oil + 1 TBS for the onion
1 ¼ cups heavy cream – preferably Mexican or sour cream
1 ½ chicken breasts – cooked and shredded – no skin
2 cups shredded cheese – Mexican blend or Cheddar or a combination of Mozzarella and Edam
Place the husked and rinsed tomatillos in a pot with the garlic. Cover with water and bring to a boil until the tomatillos are cooked through. Cool them down and place them in a blender with some liquid, the cilantro and the chili pepper. Blend until you have a smooth sauce.
Heat 1 TBS oil in a pot and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes until onion is lightly browned. Add the blended tomatillos to the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until salsa turns from bright green and starts turning light brown. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add 1 cup of cream and stir well. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet. When it is really hot, add the tortillas – one at a time. Cook them for a few seconds on each side, until they start to brown. Place them on a paper towel lined dish.
Spread the ¼ cup of cream at the bottom of a 9×13 pyrex dish. Place 1/3 of the tortillas on the cream. If they have curled up when frying, go ahead and squish them down with t spatula. Do not worry if they break. Add 1/3 of the green salsa on the tortillas – spreading it evenly on all of them. Add half of the chicken and top with some cheese. Repeat the process one more time.
Add a final layer of tortillas and the remaining salsa. Cover the tortillas with the remaining cheese. Decorate the top with chili strips – preferable poblano.
Place the casserole in the oven and bake it between 45 to 60 minutes. The casserole will be ready when you can see the sauce bubbling on the sides and the cheese has melted and browned a bit. Do not overcook it as it will be dry.
Serve with a side of refried beans and guacamole. Enjoy!
CALORIES 367.13.; FAT 17.48 grs (sat 7.53; mono 6.27; poly 2.04); PROTEIN 24.07 grs ; FIBER 4.64 grs; CARBS 29.75 grs; CHOLESTEROL 70.33 mg; IRON 2.50 mg; SODIUM 586.83 mg; CALCIUM 242.50 mg
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