© 2014 REMCooks.com

Delightfully Spicy Chicken Casserole My Way

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Getting back to what we do most here is another wonderfully spicy Mexican/New Mexican/Tex-Mexican/Southwestern style, spicy chicken casserole. There’s a whole lot of flavor packed into this meal and it’s easy to do. Interested???

Quickstep is back with us, as is Knothead. Despite all of my efforts in Knothead’s youth I could never get him interested in cooking or even helping me cook. Of course, doing the dishes was simply out of the question. Nevertheless, he did eat and eat quite well I might add. Oddly enough, 3-3/4 years ago when Daniel decided giving the US Coast Guard a go, Daniel decided to become a “food specialist.” His logic was everything else required him to make a longer commitment and by the time he made it to “A School” he realized joining the military was not the most brilliant decision he ever made. Hence, giving the US government any additional time was out of the question. There was a need for food specialist so he was fast tracked to become a food specialist and a food specialist he became. This was somewhat of a relief because if you really know how to cook, you will never starve. 🙂

Quickstep, on the other hand, loves, loves, loves food. He laughs at me when I take pictures of him in “action pose” eating. He truly is the happiest when he is eating. Sadly, like Knothead, Quickstep never had much interest in learning how to cook. So, a fast food junkie he became and, with being a fast food junkie, he suffered all of the problems fast food junkies suffer. So, when Quickstep came back we had to make a serious, concerted effort to work on food control, i.e. quality foods, lower fats, lower carbs, minimal processed sugars and free radicals, eating lite mid-meal snacks and smaller portion size. The meals we post on the blog are the meals Quickstep actually eats. In addition, he began a serious exercise regimen. Here is the before and after comparison from last Christmas 2013 to late August 2014.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

KUDOS TO QUICKSTEP!!!!! Doesn’t he look good??? He literally has worked his butt off! As of the date of the after photo Quickstep had lost 75 lbs!!! As of today, he has lost 83 lbs. His blood pressure is 116/56 and his resting heart rate is 59! Amazing and only 30 more to go. Can you say Quickstep is buying a whole new wardrobe? In fact, he’s already bought two new wardrobes and is in need of smaller clothing again.

This recipe came about when Quickstep first came back. You see, Quickstep loves Tex-Mex/New Mexican/Mexican/Southwestern food. If it has chiles, he loves it. He loves carbs. He also loves casseroles. According to Quickstep, however, all casseroles had to have carbs, either rice, noodles, tortillas – some form of carbs. This probably flows from Quickstep being from the US. Typically, casseroles in the US consist of pieces of meat, various chopped vegetables, a starch and, a crunchy or cheesy topping. Casseroles, however, are really derivative of a dish, i.e. a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. Casserole cooking is household convenience because the ingredients are cooked and served in the same dish. So, this was a dish to show Quickstep that not all casseroles have carbs. This is what we did.

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatillos
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion, sliced into 3 rings
  • 12 oz roasted green New Mexico chiles, peeled, stemmed and seeded (I buy 20+ lbs of New Mexico green chiles per year and roast them. They then get vacuum sealed and frozen. They last me about a year and freeze beautifully. It’s also a nice way to have chiles during the winter when it’s cold.
  • 1/4 cup mojo de ajo (recipe found here) This is another one of those things we make and keep in the fridge.
  • 1-1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
  • sea salt, to taste
© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Instruction

Baby Lady & I keep a lot of the ingredients for this dish in our fridge. It makes preparing dishes like this quick and painless. If you have to make the mojo de ajo and/or roast the chiles, it will seriously increase the prep time for the meal. Hence, I would suggest you roast the chiles and make the mojo de ajo the day before.

First, make the salsa. Start by roasting the veggies.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Once roasted put the veggies in the Vitamix or blender of your choice.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Now, add the New Mexico green chiles. This is going to be chilelicious. 🙂

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Add the mojo de ajo.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Then, add the cilantro

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

followed by the chicken stock. You don’t want to make this a thin salsa because you’re going to top the chicken with it and then bake the chicken. As the chicken cooks it will release its own juices thereby thinning the sauce and adding more flavor.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Now season with a little salt, to taste.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Blend away until smooth.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

When smooth, pour over the chicken thighs.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Place the chicken thighs in the oven at 350 F. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until done.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Remove from the oven, top with cheese. Return to the oven to melt the cheese, about 5 minutes or so.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Plate with some Southwestern style zucchini and, if you want, spoon some of the delicious salsa from the baking dish over the top of the chicken.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com

Serve & enjoy. 🙂 This really is a tasty dish.

© 2014 REMCooks.com
© 2014 REMCooks.com
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16 thoughts on “Delightfully Spicy Chicken Casserole My Way”

    1. Thanks, Eva. Carbs are everybody’s enemy eventually. We have done some zucchini ribbons and zucchini pasta in prior posts. It’s wonderful in salads and is a tasty pasta substitute. I bought a spiral slicer that makes zucchini spaghetti that’s pretty neat. It also does the finely sliced strips of veggies for sushi. 🙂

  1. My tried and tested formula for losing weight is eat less and move more. So why is my rowing machine staring at me right now in that ‘get your backside off the sofa’ kind of way right now.

  2. I have one grocery list for losing weight and one for maintaining weight. Then I have holidays! Holidays is what makes the first grocery list a necessity… Congrats all around on eating healthy!!!

    1. Thanks Karen. He is now down to 179 (he started at 276 on January 30) with only 19 lbs left to go. When I told him he was going to get to 160, he gave me a sideways look like I was crazy. He does 90 minutes of serious cardio every day along with 30 minutes of yoga. He then eats 5 meals per day: breakfast, lunch and what we have for dinner, most of which is on the blog, along with 2 snacks (primarily fruit) – one in the morning and one in the evening. His doctors are super impressed as he hasn’t weighed so little since basic training 13 years ago. He still doesn’t really like dieting (even though he eats lots of good food – he misses junk food and hamburgers) but he loves the way he looks. We do, too. 🙂

      1. Richard, both of you are to be commended. His hard work and your cooking is working well. One of our sons in Florida has had an ongoing battle with his weight and the health repercussions from junk food is the absolute biggest cause of the problem. It creates problems that can cause a lifetime of problems.

Food for thoughts

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