Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Black Beans, Chilies, Corn, and Cheese

Servings: 10


2 3/4 cups corn chips crumb topping
6 ounces corn tortilla chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
salt and pepper (omit or reduce if using salted corn chips)


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
2 medium red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped medium
2 medium jalapeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed, minced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 lbs chicken breasts, trimmed (about 5 breasts)
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves


1 Make the topping and set aside* (see below).
2 Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, onion, jalapeños, and 1 t. salt and cook until softened, about 5 – 7 minutes.
3 Stir in the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.
4 Slowly whisk in the broth and the cream.
5 Add the chicken breasts, partially cover, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover completely, and cook until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.
6 Stir the rice into the pot, cover and continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the rice has absorbed 25 minutes.
7 When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces.
8 Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken, cheese, black beans, corn and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
9 Pour the mixture into a 10 x 15 that has been sprayed and sprinkle wit crumb topping.
10 Bake the casserole in a 400º oven on the middle rack, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbling and and the crumbs are crisp, 35 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Serves 10.
*11 Corn Chip Topping: Combine 6 oz. of corn tortilla chips or Frito corn chips with 2 T. unsalted butter, melted in a food processor. Pulse to make coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Toss crumbs with 2 T. fresh minced parsley and season with pepper. Set aside.
12 To store: Wrap the dish with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate up to two days or freeze up to one month (if frozen, the casserole must be thawed completely in the refrigerator, about 24 hours. To serve: Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 400º. Unwrap the dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake until the casserole is bubbly and hot throughout, about 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the crumbs are crisp, 15 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

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