Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce & Cream Cheese Chicken Enchilada Casserole ((It’s a “Two-fer”))
Oh boy! After a week of meals come Friday night, I am ready to call the pizza delivery man! But I forced myself to pull out one more meal. ((Who am I kidding, there is a meal coming for Saturday too!)) I sure am glad I persevered! This one was a total winner. The entire herd larped it up — there was even an elbow jab or two for the last crispy bits.
I started with some leftover chicken breast I cooked earlier in the week. I simply slow cooked a few pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast with some chicken stock & onions. ((In preparation for this meal, I just reheated the chicken.)) Rotisserie chicken would work well for this recipe too.
Before I get to the casserole though, let me pause and tell you about this most delicious and simple recipe for homemade enchilada sauce. Trust me, you will never want to used canned again!
Here is the short list of ingredients:
- Chili powder – I used mild Hatch GREEN chili powder. I highly recommend getting your hands on MILD chili powder is you have a herd of tender-tongued kiddos like I do. Mild chili powders are available online, I purchased mine during a recent trip to NM. The recipe works for any chili powder, red or green, mild or hot. I will warn you the heat of the chili powder is magnified as it cooks.
- Dried Mexican Oregano
- Garlic Salt
- Oil – I used non-GMO canola
- Chicken Stock or Water
- Possibly more salt to taste
In a medium mixing bowl ((or the saucepan)) combine all ingredients. As you add the liquid, vigorously whisk until liquid is smooth and free of flour clumps.
Place saucepan over a medium flame and bring the enchilada sauce to a low boil. Continue cooking until desired thickness is reached. How easy is that. And the flavor – it’s really out of this world, table slapping good.
- 4 T mild Hatch green chili powder
- 1 t cumin
- 1 t dried Mexican oregano
- 1/2 t garlic salt
- 1/3 c flour
- 2-3 T canola oil ((I use non-GMO))
- 2 to 3 cups chicken stock ((water works too))
- sea salt to taste
- In a medium mixing bowl or saucepan, combine all ingredients. As you add the liquid, start with 2 cups of liquid, continue stirring until no lumps remain. Place over medium flame and stir occasionally. As the sauce thickens, add remaining liquid if necessary to reach desired consistency. Season to taste.
- Store until ready to use (lasts two weeks refrigerated) or use in place of canned sauce in your recipe.
- Please note: as you cook with and bring chili powder to boil, the inherent oils within the dried powder are released and the heat ((spicy heat)) is magnified. I recommend taking the extra steps to locate a source for mild chili powder. Your family will thank you!
Once my sauce was made, I added a block of cream cheese, because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I stirred until the cream cheese was completely incorporated into the enchilada sauce and no lumps remained. You will not want to boil the cream cheese sauce – it will break. Yeah, they say don’t cry over spilled milk – but I do cry over a broken sauce. Don’t boil; it will break and I will cry.
Once the cream cheese green enchilada sauce was ready, it was just a matter of layering the chicken & sauce with corn tortillas and shredded Monterey Jack cheese then topping it all off with white corn chips and more cheese.
I placed it in the oven until everything was crisp bubbly.
It was so perfectly good. I can’t think of one improvement I would make to this recipe…Okay, I can think of one. Next time I will double it.
We literally licked the dish clean.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did & relish in the wonderful sense of satisfaction that can only come from making good homemade food for your family. I mean people, get excited! You can now make your own enchilada sauce — that is MAJOR!
- 1 batch of green enchilada sauce made according to the above recipe
- 1 8 oz block of cream cheese
- 3 cups shredded leftover or rotisserie chicken
- 5-7 corn tortillas
- 1 1/2 c hand shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2-3 cups of crushed white corn chips ((yellow is fine))
- 2-3 T chopped fresh cilantro
- In the same medium saucepan used to make the enchilada sauce, add cream cheese to the prepared ((and heated)) enchilada sauce. Do not boil the sauce once the cream cheese has been added. Just heat enough to completely incorporate the cream cheese.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Ladle enough enchilada cream cheese sauce (1/2 to 3/4 cup should do it) cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" casserole dish. Add a layer of chicken ((use about half)), top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese and half of the remaining enchilada sauce. Top with a single layer of corn tortillas. Top with remaining sauce, chicken & cheese. Sprinkle chips and remaining cheese over the top and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly throughout. You may want to broil it for 1 to 2 minutes to achieve that extra yummy crunch.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
- Serves 6