For those of you who don't know, I'll let you in on the joke upfront: my husband is not Mexican. But we pretend that he is because everyone who doesn't know better thinks he is. Like tonight, for example. We entered our local Don Pancho Villa, all ready to enjoy some scrumptious taquitos, and the waitress asked my husband in Spanish if we needed a high chair. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. In fact, it happens so frequently that we've just accepted that maybe everyone else knows something we don't. And so we go along with it. Matt's started to pick up on enough of the Spanish that people speak to him that he may be able to pull if off flawlessly before too long. Just call him Mateo. I've always wished for some kind of foreign heritage, especially of the Spanish-type, so it's perfect.
Except that he's actually not actually Hispanic. He's 1/4 Japanese, but he's so big and tall and dark-skinned, that Edie calling him my latin lover--which I just love--is very apt in the looks department. He definitely does not look Oriental. But I digress.
So I will now present to you a casserole that is helping me get in touch with my husband's roots. You know, his imaginary ones.
Here are the players:
(oh, Pioneer Woman, if you only knew how long I've wanted to type that on my own blog! *swoon*)
1-2 lbs chicken, diced according to what size of bites you'd like
1 can each of: Black beans (rinsed)
Sweet corn (drained...does it matter if it's sweet? I don't know)
Spanish rice (not drained)
optional-1/3 c of salsa
No, I'm not going to show you the chicken before it's been cooked. That's just gross. Who likes looking at uncooked chicken? And yes, I do realize that my store-brands don't all match. But don't you just love the cactuses on that Spanish rice?
So you dice your chicken, then you cook it in a bit of oil. I also added some garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano whilst it was browning, but you don't have to. I spice things convulsively. I can't help it; My spice rack is just so cute. When the chicken is all nice and cooked, you open your cans and start dumping things in the very same pan. I like recipes like that. I've tried it both with and without the salsa, and Matt liked it better with. Of course, "his" people generally like their stuff kinda spicy. Don't go read his blog on that. Cook chicken-bean-corn-rice combo for about ten minutes on medium-ish heat. When it's finished cooking, it should look like this, although, truth be told, it looks about the same at the beginning...
Pour the contents of your pan into a 9x13-ish baking dish.
All righty. So now we come to a point where the recipe is joined by two very important new ingredients: tortilla chips and shredded cheese. Mmm...
There are a few different ways you can use the chips. Regardless of which way you pick, you must first crush up the chips...about 1/3 of a bag. You can either stir the chiplets into your chicken-bean-corn-rice mixture, you can layer them on top of your mixture, or you can do both. Pick a way and commit to it. Then sprinkle about a cup of cheese over the whole thing. I would suggest Cheddar or Colby Jack or whatever style the store labels as "Mexican/Taco."
Now slide that baby into a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until all the cheese is melty and beginning to get brown.
And that's it. It is so amazingly good. The only tiny problem is that you have to eat about twice as much as you think you'd have to in order to feel full. I'm not sure that technically qualifies as a problem though. Except I haven't figured out how to ensure leftovers yet.
For those of you who like having things in a nice, orderly fashion:
Mexican Casserole (as adapted by Chris Floyd)
1-2lbs chicken breast, diced
1 can each: black beans (drained and rinsed; I drained, did not rinse)
sweet corn (drained)
Spanish rice (not drained)
optional: 1/3 c. salsa
optional: sliced black olives, jalapenos, etc.
Brown chicken. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for ten minutes. Transfer to 9x13 baking dish.
Add approx. 1/3 bag of crushed tortilla chips and cover with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degress for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!
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