Anne's Creamy Fiesta Chicken Casserole



Cream Sauce:
3 TB butter

1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 tsp chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock [broth used to cook 1/2 lb of chicken breasts]

1/2 cup 2% milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Casserole:

1 medium-size onion, chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup uncooked instant rice
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes

1/2 lb shredded chicken
10-12 [6 inch] corn tortillas

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

To make the cream sauce: Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté on medium-low heat about 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute longer. Sprinkle the flour in the pan, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until the white of the flour is no longer visible. Whisk in 3 cups of the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the milk. The cream sauce should be thick.

To make the casserole: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Line the bottom of the prepared pan with a layer of 6 tortillas, making sure each tortilla overlaps the previous one by about one-third. (A thick layer of tortillas will make it easier to cut the casserole once it’s cooked.) Cover the tortillas with 1/3 of the cream sauce. Add half of the chicken, rice, and veggie mix, sprinkle with one third of cheese. Add a second layer of 6 tortillas, 1/2 of the remaining cream sauce, rest of chicken filling, and another third of each kind of cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas and the rest of the cream sauce and cheese.

Bake the casserole for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until hot, bubbling, and lightly browned on top. Remove the casserole from the oven and let sit about 10 minutes.

**Note: Freeze casserole up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

P.S. 
My pan was a 9X11, so the sauce almost poured over the top. When serving it [even with the extra corn tortillas I used] it was better served with a large spoon than a spatula, and in a bowl. 
But it was delicious and I enjoyed mine with a plop of sour cream on top.

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