Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Classic Casseroles in Corning Ware - Chicken & Black Bean Fajita Casserole

Nothing says loving from the depths of your oven like a casserole.  I don't make them very often, cause they are usually fairly high in fat calories and salt.  But they are always delicious and comforting; especially on a cold wet Winter's day.

This one is no exception.  I have altered my mother's original recipe over the years in an attempt to make it slightly more healthy by swapping out ground Chicken or Turkey for the Beef and substituting Black Beans for Kidneys (Black Beans are higher in antioxidants), I even began adding chopped Onion and Bell Peppers to it; alas, it still contains a LOT of cheese.  But there are just some things that you simply cannot skimp on.  I mean, it is Cheese after all.

What I like most about this recipe is that all the basics are there and it's easily tweaked to your own taste buds.  I prefer Fajita seasoning to the Taco Seasoning that my mother always used.  Then again, in the 70s I don't think anyone in the Northern United States even knew what a Fajita was, so it's not like there was a McCormick's or Lawrey's Seasoning packet for it, back in the day.

Don't like Flour Tortillas?  It's all good, cause this recipe works just as well with Corn Tortillas.  In fact, that is what I had to use tonight, because I forgot to grab Flour Tortillas when I was at the grocery store.

The Cream of Chicken soup can be swapped out for Cream of Mushroom or Celery.  Heck, if you are so inclined you can even use Cream of Asparagus.  Even the Green Chilies can be swapped out for diced Jalepenos or diced Chipotles. So please feel free to substitute as you see fit, but this is how I made it tonight.

Chicken and Black Bean Fajita Casserole

2 TB Olive Oil
1/2 a medium Onion, chopped
1/2 a Bell Pepper, chopped
1.25 - 1.5 lbs Ground Chicken or Turkey
1 pkg Fajita Seasoning
12 oz can Evaporated Milk
10.75 oz can Low Fat Cream o’ Chicken Soup
8 oz can Tomato Sauce
7 oz can diced Green Chiles
14.5 oz can Black Beans; drained & rinsed
6-8 Corn Tortillas (or Flour)
1 lb shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 oz can Sliced Black Olives

Corning Ware 11 inch Skillet (P-16-B) or the 4 qt (P-84) -- the P-10-B 10 inch skillet is too small (heck even the 11 inch skillet is almost too small)
Corning Ware Medium Open Roaster (P-21)

Begin by heating the Olive oil in your 11 inch Skillet (P-16-B) set over medium flame.

When the oil is hot, add the Onion and Bell Peppers, sauteing until they begin to soften.

Add the Ground Chicken and continue cooking until there is no more pink in the ground meat.

Sprinkle the Fajita Seasoning over the Chicken and stir to coat.

Add the Evaporated Milk and stir to combine, then bring to a boil, reduce the flame to low and simmer for 10 minutes.


Remove the P-16-B skillet from the flame and add the Cream o' Chicken Soup, Tomato Sauce and Green Chilies, stirring to combine.

Add the drained and rinsed Black Beans, stirring until evenly distributed.

The mixture should be cool enough to work with now, so you don't risk burning yourself.

See what I mean, about it just barely fitting in the 11 inch P-16 skillet? 

Begin preheating the oven to 350F degrees and grab your P-21/A-21 Roasting Pan.

Line the bottom with a layer of Corn Tortillas.

Spoon 1/3 of the Chicken mixture over the Tortillas.

Sprinkle with 1/3 of the shredded Cheddar.

Lay down another layer of Tortillas, then half of the remaining Chicken mixture, followed by half of the remaining Cheese.
Lay down a final layer of Tortillas, then the remaining Chicken Mixture, but hold off on the Cheese.

Sprinkle the final layer of the Chicken mixture with the sliced Black Olive.

Cover the Black Olives with the remaining shredded Cheese.

(The Black Olives will migrate through the melted cheese to the top of the Casserole, but by starting "under" the Cheese will keep them from drying out in the oven)
Move the P-21/A-21 Roasting Pan to the Oven and Bake for 30 -35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting a big old slice and dig in.

Where is your Corningware??
~~

6 comments:

  1. Looks like you cut it close with both of your Corningware. I would have a mess everywhere if I cut it that close. Your recipe looks good. I think I would like the corn tortillas best in this, flour ones can taste pasty sometimes when they are cooked in something. I am looking forward to your sauerkraut soup tonight.

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  2. Patricia - You are SO right about the Flour Tortillas. The Corn Tortillas held their shape so much better in this recipe, and I don't know why I didn't think of using them before. I am never going back to Flour Tortillas in this recipe ever again. :-)

    Good luck with the Sauerkraut Soup. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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  3. Making Tamale Pie tonight for dinner but my recipe calls for 400 degree oven. Is that a bad idea? should I lower to 350?? Asking for the future, this is one of my recipes, not from a book.
    Jay

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  4. Jay - I don't think 400 should be a problem. Corning Ware is broiler safe, and broilers are upwards of 500, so it should be fine. The only potential problem I can see is if the dish is filled to capacity and it stews over. But that can even happen at 350.

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  5. Thanks, that's what my gut told me but I wasn't sure. Halfway through I turned to 350 and it came out fine. The cornbread was not as brown but it was done. I was using my 4 quart A-4-B so it was only halfway or so up..thanks again.

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