Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I love Mexican flavors and when I can have that taste without a lot of fat and carbs, it's a win-win situation. I've made a number of versions of this layered chicken enchilada casserole, but what separates this version (based on one I saw on the blog Skinny Chicken) is the sweetness from the honey which contrasts nicely with the acidity of the lemon juice.  Here is my take on the SK recipe.

6 servings - 9 SP per serving
2 tablespoons honey
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, separated
1 teaspoon cumin, separated
1  teaspoon garlic powder, separated
1 teaspoon salt
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¾ cup fat-free cottage cheese
½ cup fresh corn (off the cob) or frozen and defrosted
12-thin corn tortillas, cut in half
1 cup light cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons scallions, sliced or chopped
1 (10-12 oz)  can red enchilada sauce 
OPTIONAL: light sour cream 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a 9 X 13 baking pan and using half the amount of spices listed above, season the chicken thighs on both sides. Roast for 20 minutes, turn chicken, then roast for an additional 20 minutes or until thighs are cooked through. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together honey, lemon juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Shred the chicken and add it along with the cottage cheese and  corn, mixing well. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or longer.
3.. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
4. Coat the bottom of the pan with ¼ cup enchilada sauce. Spread around.Cover bottom of pan with tortilla slices  Spoon ⅔ cup of the marinated chicken with some of the juice over the top. Add 4 corn tortillas to cover bottom. They will overlap a bit. Spread ⅔ cup more chicken mixture evenly over tortillas, top with ½ cup shredded cheese. Add another layer of tortillas.  Spread with ½ of remaining sauce, add remaining chicken and add a final layer of tortillas. Spread remaining sauce all over top. Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheese and scallions. Cover casserole with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
5. Cool a bit and cut into 6 slices.
6. Serve each with 1 tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt dolloped over the top.
Makes 6 servings
This casserole is a winner. Easy to put together, a mere 30 minutes in the oven, and a generous serving for a light entree--what's not to like? Next time I'll up the protein by including some black beans.

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