07 October 2010

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Written on 5 October.

Dinner on Monday night was made from this recipe from Butter & Onions. However, due to the continued lack of internet in our (otherwise lovely) flat, I hadn't actually looked at this recipe for at least three weeks, and even then I didn't particularly fancy the idea of the meal so I hadn't read the recipe in detail to begin with! So this will no doubt have deviated wildly from the original dish: all I remembered was that it included chicken, tortillas, and possibly some kind of creamy tomato sauce, and that it was all made in a pan. (A quick look at the recipe later showed that I was thinking of tortilla wraps, and the actual dish was made with tortilla chips. Oh well.) Given that we have no oven, and only two hobs, this was perfect.

The ingredients were mostly things that I found around the kitchen and pantry which were left by the previous tenant of the flat. This is why a lot of the ingredients are 'half a tin of...' whatever. The onions and tinned tomatoes were in tupperware in the fridge, so it's difficult to estimate how much I used.

I can think of two main ways of making this dish; I did the first and really enjoyed it. Tom was less of a fan (mostly because I used tinned tomatoes instead of smoother passata), but I suspect that he would have enjoyed it more the second way.

Stovetop Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Serves 2

1.5 servings of pearl barley
1 large onion
3 small chicken breasts
Half a tin of tinned tomatoes
Third of a jar of pasta sauce
½ cup milk
Italian herbs
2 tsp chilli spice
1 tsp brown sugar
3 tortilla wraps

I boiled pearl barley in salted water over a medium heat until fully cooked and slightly mushy, about 25 minutes. In the meantime, chopped onion and chicken breasts were put on a medium heat in a large pan until the chicken was cooked through.
The barley was drained, and the liquid ingredients (tomatoes, sauce, milk) were put in the barley pan over a medium heat. A squeeze of mayonnaise was stirred in, along with a shake of Italian herbs, the chilli and brown sugar. Reduced.

Serving suggestion 1 (which I did last night):
The drained pearl barley was divided evenly between the three tortillas (roughly 2 tablespoons each). A cooked chicken breast was placed on top, with a spoonful of onions. Some onions were left in the pan. The tortillas were folded over and placed back in the large pan, with the sauce poured over, and cooked on a medium heat for about five minutes until it was all bubbling through.

This way the tortillas turned slightly pasta-esque, which I really enjoyed.

Serving suggestion 2:
Remove the chicken and onions from the large pan or use a clean pan. Fry or dry-fry the tortillas for a few seconds on each side until they are slightly toasted. Assemble the tortillas as before (pearl barley, chicken, onion) and serve. Pour the sauce over the top and eat.