Chicken enchillada lasagne - California here we come


Mexican tortilla lasagna with chicken enchillada sauceMexican cuisine is not my natural cooking habitat. I love Mexican food, particularly tequila. Did you know that if you drink only tequila (you can have it with mixers, but don't mix with any other alcohol) you get into this really fun state of tipsiness. This life-changing insight was delivered to me and a friend of mine on the all-inclusive Club Med beaches of Kemer, Turkey by a French man unimaginatively called Jacques. Jacques with crazy Brian May hair was from Amiens and kept going on about their Cathedral until he'd had his daily fix of tequila tonics after which he became a lot more interesting. Or I think maybe the tequila made us think he did. One evening we ended up sitting on the beach with our tequila tonics singing Tomber la chemise and thought it was the funniest thing ever. Which in retrospect clearly it wasn't, but that's tequila for you. It might even make an Adam Sandler film seem funny.

Husband is ok with the occasional tequila, but has an unfortunate crybaby attitude about chillies and a paranoid schizophrenic relationship with coriander, so that's why I rarely cook Mexican food.

But we are flying to California tomorrow with the kids for an epic road trip. How very epic you will find out later or if not at all epic this is the last you will hear about it. So to get us in the mood I made a Cal Mex inspired dinner for us. It was a long day in the office with head ache inducing pharmacy pathway discussions and bundle pricing calculations, which I never thought would happen to a marketer. But there you go, there is always a  finance business partner lurking behind a corner just waiting to ruin your day. And after work there was packing to be done as well as hair removal, fake tan application, eye brow plucking, tooth whitening, toe nail varnishing and other harvesting and caretaking that holidays and visiting sunny climes impose on women. So it had to be someting relatively straight forward.

I do realise this is actually probably no more Mexican than my mooseballs, but it is easy, tasty and comforting. Husband's summary was "that was a very good lasagne" before he went to the bathroom to colour his beard, remove nasal hair and whatever else it is men do to make them the shiny beautiful things we see before us.

Mexican tortilla lasagna with chicken enchillada sauce

Chicken enchillada lasagne (serves 6)

800kg boneless chicken thigh (or breast), cut into strips
zest and juice of one lime
bell pepper, cut into strips
1 or more fresh chillies (to your taste), finely chopped
Kernels of 2 cobs of corn (or half cup of frozen corn)
1 large or 2 normal yellow onions, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tsp dried oregano
2-3 tsp cumin
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
400g can of black beans, drained
fresh coriander (I substituted with parsley), chopped

8 corn (or other) tortillas
200 g cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 200C

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onion on medium heat for a few minutes, add the garlic, bell pepper, chilli and corn. Continue frying for another couple of minutes, remove to a large deep sauce pan.

Season the chicken strips with salt and pepper. Add oregano and cumin. Use the same frying pan to fry the chicken. Add oil if necessary and fry in batches until browned.

Add the chicken to the onion mix, add the tomatoes, chicken stock, lime zest and juice and coriander. Bring to boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, add water if it seems too dry. Add the beans and cook for another couple of nimutes. Check seasoning and adjust.

Assemble the lasagne in a large baking dish. Start by ladling some of the chicken enchillada sauce onto the bottom of the dish. Add two tortillas on top. Add a layer of chicken enchillada sauce, some shredded cheese and cover with another layer of tortillas. Repeat twice and then spread the rest of the sauce and a good sprinkling of grated cheddar on top.

Bake in 200C for 20 minutes or until it's bubbly and brown on top.

You Might Also Like