Back in Bloomington, my roommate made a delicious enchilada casserole for one of our weekly dinners. The recipe is a staple of hers, and after she shared it with me, I learned that it is in fact called "enchilada lasagna." It's got these tortilla layers, see, kinda like a traditional lasagna has pasta layers? Get it?
I opened up the recipe file this weekend, and although her version calls for making your own red enchilada sauce (chicken stock, tomato sauce, herbs, spices...), I opted to give it a go the first time around using a store-bought enchilada sauce. The result, the time-conscious side of me is happy to report, was very tasty. While I'm sure the totally-from-scratch version is that much better, the enchilada lasagna I made was absolutely nothing to complain about.
Enchilada Lasagna, my way
1. Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a skillet over the stove. Cube some raw chicken--as close to bite-size pieces as you care to get--and toss it into the pan. (I used two good-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts.) Let the chicken pieces brown and cook through, then remove them to a bowl.
2. Add sliced onion--again, cut to your size preferences--to the skillet and, turning down the heat, allow the onion to sweat for 5+ minutes. Add some minced garlic towards the end, and stir it all together while it sautes for about a minute more before removing the pan from the heat. Go ahead and add the chicken back to the dish to consolidate things.
3. Pour a bit of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish--just enough to preclude any sticking post-baking. Layer corn tortillas first so that the bottom of the dish is fairly well covered. Pour a bit more enchilada sauce on top, then spread half the chicken and onion mixture on top of that. Sprinkle about 3/4- to 1 cup cheese (Mexican blend preshredded, queso fresco you shredded yourself... whatever you choose) on top of the chicken and onion mixture.
4. Add another layer of corn tortillas, then pour a bit more enchilada sauce. Spread the rest of the chicken and onion mixture on top, then add a final layer of tortillas. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top before sprinkling another good handful of cheese on top of it all.
5. Cover the casserole dish loosely with aluminum foil, then bake it for about 30 minutes in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven. When that buzzer goes off, remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the enchilada lasagna is bubbly. Let it set for a few minutes before serving.