Tomato-Pepper Chicken Casserole

  • Yield servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
-- olive oil cooking spray
3 large garlic cloves diced fine
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1 large onion chopped
1/2 -- each green and red bell pepper chopped
1/2 -- jalepeno pepper seeded and diced
10 ounces Rotel tomatoes with chilies
4 cups diced chicken breast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
8 -- corn tortillas
1 cup each grated cheddar and monterey jack cheese, mixed together
-- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon additional teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 cup additional chopped scallions

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9×13 in baking dish or a 3 quart casserole dish with olive oil cooking spray.

Sauce:
In a non stick pan add the garlic cloves, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder to 2 T of the olive oil and saute until garlic is soft, about 3 minutes. Using medium heat, sprinkle in the flour and stir quickly and constantly, avoiding lumps while slowly adding the chicken broth, a little at a time until all the chicken broth has been added and is simmering. Add the buttermilk, stirring and maintaining a low simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. This can be prepared 1 day in advance and refrigerated if desired.

Chicken Filling:
In a heavy non stick pan use the remaining olive oil, over medium heat and saute the chopped onions, bell peppers and jalepeno pepper until the onion and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the diced chicken breast with the onion and garlic powder Stir and saute until the chicken is cooked through. Then add the Rotel tomatoes,the olives, the scallions, and cilantro and simmer about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Assemble:
Soften the tortillas by dipping them in the filling mixture one at a time for just a few seconds. Cover the bottom of the baking dish or casserole with 4 of the tortillas. Layer remaining ingredients in this order:
1/2 Chicken filling
1/2 grated cheese
1/2 Sauce
remaining tortillas
remaining Chicken filling
remaining cheese
remaining sauce

Garnish with 1 tsp of chili powder and scallions

Bake 30 to 40 minutes cover the first 20 minutes, then uncovered at 350 degrees F until hot and bubbly.

Serve with a side of black beans if desired.

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