Several years ago, Hubby decided he wanted to look into switching from our cable company to a dish of some kind. There was a lot of thought put into this wish for change. I’d reckon at least thirty seconds. Or as long as it takes for a man to think, ‘Dadburn cable company doesn’t provide the NFL Network.’
After having weighed the costs and options and putting all the calculations together, it was another thirty seconds before Hubby was on the phone with the dish company making an appointment for Dish Guy to come out and get the lay of the land.
There must be something to this 30-second rule, because Dish Guy drove up, got out, took one look around and told Hubby there was no way he was going to be able to get reception unless we took out three to four of our trees. Then he drove away and Hubby went down to the man cave to pout in front of his NFL Network-less television.
Yesterday, while I was shredding the chicken for this dish, irony raised its humorous little head. Standing at my window, I watched men working at my neighbor’s house. Tree Guy and his crew were back. And they were taking down a lot of trees.
In fact, at one point, when a particularly magnificent oak crashed down so hard that the house shook, tears filled my eyes. I wanted to throw on a fuzzy orange coverall, grow a yellow, bushy mustache, run out there and yell, ‘I speak for the trees.’
Tree Guy has taken down the majority of the trees that Dish Guy said were blocking reception. I was chopping the onions as the final one was cut into manageable pieces to be hauled away.
As I moved from that counter over to the stove so I could sauté onion and garlic, I did smile at the irony of it all. We finally have a clear line for the dish to get a satellite feed so Hubby can get the NFL Network. Which is a moot point since our cable company picked it up about three weeks ago.
Doesn’t it just figure.
Even though the blurb under the title for this recipe in the cookbook says that it’s ‘less fussy’ than the traditional enchiladas, I was surprised at how much work it really was, mainly because the chicken thighs are sautéed on the stove, then roasted in the oven.
Could you use leftover chicken or go out and buy a rotisserie bird? Sure. But it think the thighs were chosen to keep the dish from drying out. The breast would suck up all liquid like the Mojave desert.
I did veer from the instructions while cooking the thighs. The cookbook asked that I remove the skin prior to sautéing the chicken. I don’t like to do that because the heat on the exposed meat makes it hard and really unpalatable. So, I left the skin on while the thighs cooked. I removed it when I shredded the chicken and ended up tender, juicy meat.
Much like a lasagna, you’ll end up layering three items; the chicken and corn mixture, the sauce and the tortillas. That part doesn’t take long. I found that I didn’t need all 9 tortillas.
Hubby and I thought this was delicious. There is so much flavor built through the meat mixture and the sauce. Many times I notice the lack of salt, but there was so much else going on that it wasn’t missed at all.
As far as Dudette, I could tell that she really wanted to like the casserole by the way she kept seeking out the pieces of meat (she did pick out every bit of green cilantro she could find and put it to the side of her plate, however). The issue was the amount of heat. Two tablespoons of pickled jalapeno is a lot for a little girl’s mouth and it was too much for her.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
If making this for the family, I’d only use one tablespoon of jalapenos. If others want more, a bowl of them can be left out for adding afterwards. Having a dollop of sour cream would have also cut the heat for the more tender mouth.
- Cooking spray
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- ⅓ cup (3 ounces) ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chopped onion, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- ⅔ cup salsa verde
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño pepper
- 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Add 1½ tablespoons cilantro, corn, and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) to chicken; toss to combine.
- Return pan to medium-high heat. Add ½ cup onion; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 garlic cloves; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to chicken mixture; stir to combine.
- Combine remaining 1½ cups onion, remaining 3 garlic cloves, broth, salsa, ¼ cup water, and jalapeño in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour mixture into a blender; add 2 tablespoons cilantro. Process until smooth.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas; cook 1½ minutes on each side. Remove tortillas from pan; repeat procedure with remaining tortillas. Cut tortillas into quarters.
- Spread ½ cup salsa mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 12 tortilla quarters over salsa mixture. Spoon half of chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Pour remaining salsa mixture over tortillas; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with remaining cilantro.
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