Consider this meal a must-make if you are looking for a) a quick, simple meal, b) a delicious family-pleasing entree, and c) a unique twist on a quesadilla in pie form (cause I know you’ve all been searching for just that and now your life can be complete).
I had low expectations for this meal. It was simply a means to an end – a busy weeknight calling for an easy, filling meal that made use of ingredients I already had on hand. Earlier in the week, I had whipped up a large batch of cooked, shredded chicken and the leftovers were calling to me from the refrigerator. When I spied this recipe, I went for it, if only to get dinner on the table fast (in case there are misconceptions, I don’t photograph every meal that is made and eaten in this house – trust me, you would be mighty disappointed if that were the case!).
I was skeptical about pouring a mixture of flour and eggs over the top of shredded chicken, cheese and cilantro and not ending up with a gummy, yucky mess. Bisquick-gone-wrong has scarred me in the past and I wasn’t too excited about the possibilities of a homemade version turning out badly. However, I had no reason to fear. The batter surrounds the chicken mixture and bakes up to create a tender, biscuit-like feel throughout the casserole but it’s light enough that it doesn’t overpower the chicken and cheese. Because it was devoured so quickly, I “had” to make it again (darn it!) so that I could actually take a picture of it to share with you. The simple flavors combine to make a truly fabulous dinner. This was a hands-down hit all around! (And would be a perfect take-in meal for someone…lucky them!)
Note: This dish is extremely mild in spiciness. If you want to kick it up a notch, consider adding a can of green chiles or chopped, jarred pickled jalapenos.
- 3 (10-inch) flour tortillas, white or wheat
- Vegetable or canola oil cooking spray
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used about 1 1/2 pounds chicken and cooked it with this method)
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, making sure an oven rack is in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with cooking spray. Overlap and layer the three tortillas (kind of in a cloverleaf pattern), pressing them into the dish, so that the bottom and sides of the pie plate are evenly covered with tortilla. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded chicken with 1 cup of the cheese, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture into the pie plate.
- In the same bowl that the chicken mixture was in (no need to wash it), whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Slowly pour this liquid mixture into the pie plate covering the chicken evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until the surface is golden brown. Let the casserole rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Source: adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook