Hailing from an era when casseroles were king, this Tex-Mex dish still reigns supreme at church suppers and neighborhood potlucks. Though not an invention of the famed King Ranch--it's more likely the creation of a ladies' Junior League--the spicy flavors of chili powder, roasted peppers, and toasted cumin never fail to please.
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped poblano peppers (about 2 medium peppers)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
18 (8-inch) soft taco-size corn tortillas
1/4 cup canola oil
Vegetable cooking spray
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.
Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in broth, and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes and sour cream.
Stir together chicken and cilantro in a large bowl; stir in vegetable mixture. Combine both cheeses in a small bowl.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Lightly brush each tortilla on both sides with oil. Cook tortillas, in batches, in hot skillet 1 to 2 minutes each side or until lightly browned and crisp on both sides.
Line bottom of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 13- x 9-inch baking dish with 6 tortillas, overlapping slightly, to cover bottom of dish. Top with half of chicken mixture and one-third of cheese. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining tortillas and cheese. Lightly coat a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray, and cover baking dish.
Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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