Chicken Enchilada Lasagna

Hey guys and welcome back to Queen Bee. As you may know, a good part of my ethnicity is Mexican. My Grandma Dolly was Mexican, she passed a few years ago and I wish I could have cooked with her. Grandma’s real name was Rosalie, but she was a twin at birth and was so small she looked like a doll, hence the name Dolly. Every time Ryan and I would visit home, she would send us home with a huge cooler bag of homemade burritos. They were the best!

One thing she instilled in me at a young age was to always help someone who needed it. Whether it was to pick up their change off the ground or putting a separator on the belt at the grocery store. She was a very kind-hearted soul, who loved with all her heart. She had friends and family all over the west, and they all have wonderful memories of her.

She made some of the best Mexican food ever, some of the best enchiladas too! I don’t know her original recipe, but this one is pretty darn close. This round of enchiladas I decided to make my own tortillas since my wonderful husband got me a cast-iron tortilla press for Christmas. But I had to make it into a lasagna of sorts because the tortillas were pretty small. If you make a bigger batch of tortillas you could roll them into a more traditional enchilada dish. Whatever you want!

I cooked my crowd cow pasture raised butterflied chicken and cooked it in my Instant Pot (If you don’t have an Instant Pot, no worries I’ll leave a note of what to do at the end). Okay you guys, if you haven’t heard of Crowd Cow, you need to check it out. Their beef and chicken is treated humanely and they tell you exactly what the cow you’re getting is from, what they ate, and there are all different packages you can choose from. The best part is it’s delivered right to your door.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1- 2-3 pound whole chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1- 28 OZ can red enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup Queso Fresco
  • 1 cup mexican shredded cheese

For Tortillas

  • 1 3/4 cup instant masa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/8 cup water

Season the whole butterflied chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander, roughly chop up some carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and put them at the bottom of the Instant Pot. Put the rack that comes with the Instant Pot in and place the seasoned chicken on top of the rack. Top with 2-3 cups filtered water, put the lid on and press the meat button. Manually put the time for 25 minutes. After time is up, turn off the Instant Pot and let it naturally release. You’ll get a really dry chicken if you let the pressure come out by venting it.

Once pressure is released, take the chicken out of the pot and let it cool (keep the meat broth for later in the recipe and I normally keep the rest in the freezer for dinners or when anyone is sick at the house).

Once cooled, the chicken should basically fall off the bone. Shred chicken and pour in half of the 28 OZ can of red enchilada sauce. Saute onions until almost caramelized and add to the chicken mixture, also add 1/2 cup of the meat broth left over in the Instant Pot.

Mix instant masa and salt, then add water in a slow stream, stir with a wooden spoon. The mix will be crumbly, but will hold if pressed together. Add a little more water if needed. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the masa to activate.

After 30 minutes, roll a small handful of dough together to make about 6 semi-big tortillas. Put a roll in between two pieces of parchment paper and press in tortilla press (if you don’t have a tortilla press, use two pie plates). Cook each one for 30-45 seconds on each side and set aside for building the enchiladas.

Pour a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the square baking dish and put 3 tortillas down, I broke them up so the whole bottom was covered.

Top with half of the chicken mixture, Queso Fresco and cheddar cheese and repeat.

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Cover with foil and cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then take the foil off and cook for another 5 minutes, or until top is nice and bubbly.

I served with Spanish Rice and refried beans.

Note: To cook whole chicken without Instant Pot:

Put roughly chopped carrots, celery and onion into a large stock pot. Add seasoned chicken and put in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes. Take chicken out and let cool.

Hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did!

XOXO,

Jess

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