Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dorito Chicken Casserole - Tastes better than it sounds

In a way, I guess I dared myself to make this last night.

I cooked a whole chicken all day in the crock pot yesterday, intending to shred the meat for a yet undecided casserole, and to freeze the broth for future culinary endeavors. When I got home from work I went to the computer to search for a recipe, based on ingredients I already had. What I found instead was... a nasty computer virus! Plan thwarted.

I resorted to my thin collection of cookbooks. My glossy hardcover cookbook only had a few recipes using shredded chicken, none of which I had (or could afford) all of the ingredients. So I opened up a cookbook my aunt gave me long ago; a collection of recipes put together by the ladies of her church. Good old fashioned home cooking. Or so I thought.

Every single casserole recipe in the book called for cream-of-something-or-another soup, which is not something I normally keep on hand. I was about to put the book away when the word 'dorito' caught my eye. I love Doritos. I haven't had them in a loooong time, since, you know, I'm trying to live a healthy lifestyle. (Some of you who know me are laughing at that last sentence, but really, it's true!)

The recipe was for a Mexican chicken casserole using Doritos chips. I knew I shouldn't, but my curiosity (and my desire for Doritos, and the fact that I knew they were on sale at Winn Dixie) got the better of me, and I rushed to the grocery store for crap-in-a-can and Doritos. Being the excellent chef that I am and all, I adapted the recipe for my own tastes. To my pleasant surprise, it turned out pretty yummy! My husband went back for seconds. My toddler cleaned her plate, which is unheard of lately.

Here is my recipe for what I like to call "Dorito Chicken Casserole". It makes 1 extra large pan of casserole, or 2 small pans. I made 2 small ones.

1 whole chicken, deboned (or 6 large chicken breasts)
1 large 16oz bag nacho cheese flavored chips (like Doritos®)
1 small can black olives*
2 cans tomatoes & green chiles (like Rotel®)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 large onion
6 banana peppers**
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 lb shredded cheese

**alternately, you could use a bell pepper, or jalapenos if you like it really spicy

Boil the chicken however you like to boil chicken (I like to use a crock pot and cook it on low all day). Remove the chicken to a bowl. When the chicken has cooled enough that it won't burn your fingers, shred it with a fork. Not too fine though; we're not making baby food.

Chop the onion and peppers. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic in olive oil, until the onions are soft and translucent. Set aside.

Mix together tomatoes & green chiles, cream soups, milk, olives, chipotle powder, and salt & pepper in a saucepan. Heat on medium until it thinks about boiling (don't let it boil).

Spread a single layer of chips in a casserole dish. Then layer chicken, sauteed mixture, soup mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers, starting with the chips again.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until cheese lightly browns and bubbles. Serve with a salad to redeem yourself for all the calories you're about to eat.

Enjoy :)