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Chicken and Chorizo Mexican ‘Lasagne’

I usually host a London Christmas Dinner before I head home for the Christmas break. We do the full shebang – turkey, all the trimmings, trifle, sherry, after eights, the lot. But I’m going away extra early this year and it seemed a little silly. So I decided to host Thanksgiving. We’re not American, I’m rarely that thankful but it falls at the end of November and was supposed to give me an opportunity to cook something a little different and experiment with some classics usually only seen on sitcoms (marshmallow covered sweet potato & green bean casserole for example). I had the whole menu planned with help from various Americans in my life (thanks Gian and Shana) and the Sainsbury’s delivery booked. The week long preparation plan was loaded into my diary.

And then they went and elected Trump. What utter morons. And within seconds of hearing the news, my desire to celebrate Americana died. So by 10am I’d cancelled Thanksgiving and decided on a Mexican feast instead. Maybe next year I’ll reinstate Turkey Day, we’ll see.

The full menu involved Pork Pilbil, Green Rice, lashings of Guacamole (natch), Mole (mow-lay) Chicken Wings, Mushroom Quesadillas, Prawn Fajitas and this, a layered tortilla affair in the same vein as a lasagne. I’ve made variations of this a few times – you can vary the layers with what you have meat and veg wise – I’ve gone for a fairly classic chorizo and chicken version here.  Some sort of cheese or at least a white sauce is essential for moisture. I’ve not included coriander as there is some aversion in my group but it would be liberally included in every layer otherwise.

You can assemble the elements in any order that you please but it is best to start the actual assembly with everything ready to go. I’ve totally forgotten an element before and kicked myself later!

Apologies, I have no photo of the finished cooked dish – we ate it too fast!

Serves 4/6 as a Main Course or 8/10 as part of a larger feast.

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Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
6 Large Chicken Thighs (bone in and skin on)
Sea Salt Flakes
1tbsp Mole Sauce

For the Cheese Sauce:
30g Butter
2 tbsp Plain Flour
350ml Semi Skimmed Milk
190g Mexicana Cheese
Sea Salt Flakes

For the Garlic Mushrooms:
400g Mushrooms
1 tsp Garlic Paste
Sea Salt Flakes
Frylight Spray

For the Veg Layer:
2 Medium Onions
250g Frozen Sliced Mixed Peppers
Sea Salt Flakes
Frylight Spray

The Rest:

30 Slices Chorizo
100g Frozen Sweetcorn
6 Flour Tortillas


I started by roasting the chicken thighs the evening before I assembled the dish.

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Leaving the skin on and bone in, sprinkle on Sea Salt Flakes and roast 6 Large Chicken Thighs at 180c for around 45 minutes until cooked through and golden but still juicy.

Leave to cool thoroughly before removing the skins and tearing the flesh from the bones. Discard the bones and skin. (Who am I kidding, I ate the skin!)

Mix 1tbsp Mole Sauce through the shredded flesh.

Tip – If you can’t procure the mole sauce, mix through some fajita spice mix and a little vegetable oil to make it a thick paste or some sort of similar Mexican/south American spice mix/paste.

Set the chicken aside ready for assembly.

Next I made the Mexican cheese sauce.

Melt 30g Butter in a pan over a medium heat and add 2 tbsp Plain Flour. Stir over the heat and thoroughly combine. A thick paste will form.

Make sure there are no lumps before you start to add 350ml Semi Skimmed Milk a little at a time until a rich and creamy sauce has formed.

Crumble 140g Mexicana Cheese into the sauce and stir over the heat until its melted and totally combined.

Taste and season with Sea Salt Flakes if needed.

Set the cheese sauce aside ready for assembly.

To make the garlic mushrooms, chop 400g Mushrooms into thick slices and fry over a high heat with a few sprays of Frylight and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes.

Once the mushrooms are browned and any moisture has evaporated off, stir in 1 tsp Garlic Paste and fry for 1 minute to cook it though and combine. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Set the mushrooms aside ready for assembly.

Roughly slice 2 Medium Onions with a few sprays of Frylight and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes and fry over a medium heat until softened.  Add 250g Frozen Sliced Mixed Peppers and fry until the peppers have defrosted and coloured a little.

Set the veg aside until ready for assembly.

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Time to assemble! I used my pie dish which is a little bigger than a regular tortilla at its base and I lined it with a disposable liner for easy clean-up.

Tip – Try to keep everything vaguely even and make sure to spread each layer of filling to the edges of the dish or you’ll end up with a mound in the middle of the dish.

Assemble in layers as follows:

Tortilla
15 Chorizo Slices

1/3 Cheese Sauce
Tortilla
Garlic Mushrooms
1/2 Shredded Chicken

Tortilla
1/3 Cheese Sauce
Veg (Peppers and Onions)
Tortilla

Tip – You have 6 Flour tortillas but only 5 layers of tortilla. As the pie dish gets higher, the surface area increases. The tortilla needed to cover the whole area increases. Look at my pictures carefully – Layers 4 and 5 are cut to space them out and I use the 6th tortilla to fill in the spaces.

1/2 Shredded Chicken
100g Frozen Sweetcorn
Tortilla
15 Chorizo Slices
1/3 Cheese Sauce
40g Mexicana Cheese – torn into small chunks (or freeze it and grate it)

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I wrapped this in cling film and froze it for a couple of days then took it out of the oven the night before serving and reheated in the oven for about 45 minutes. There is nothing to cook other than to brown the top and reheat everything so you can cook at about 180c or you could even microwave the whole thing for 7 or so minutes then just put it under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top.

 

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2 thoughts on “Chicken and Chorizo Mexican ‘Lasagne’

  1. tridgeontour December 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm Reply

    That looks amazing!

    Like

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