This casserole produces a lot of sauce! Use it to spoon over rice or pasta, or for dipping tortilla chips.
- 1 15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes (or canned whole or crushed tomatoes if fire roasted are not available)
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup, packed, chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (less or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), trimmed of excess fat, cut into 3-inch wide pieces
- 4 ounces grated or sliced Monterey jack cheese
Serve with or over
- More chopped cilantro
- Sour cream
- Corn or flour tortillas
1 Make the salsa: Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, chipotle peppers and adobo, lime juice and salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times so there are no more large chunks of anything, but not so much so that the salsa is completely smooth.
2 Spread salsa over chicken: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken pieces in a casserole dish, just large enough to fit them all in a single layer (about 8x10-inches). Spread the chipotle salsa over the chicken pieces, turning the chicken pieces to coat them all over with the salsa.
3 Bake, layer with cheese, bake again: Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes (30 minutes for thighs). Remove the foil, and sprinkle or layer the cheese over the chicken. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes more.
Serve over rice, pasta, or with tortillas on the side, along with chopped avocado, more cilantro, crema fresca or sour cream.
Variation: This is a bake-in-the-oven recipe. You could easily adapt the recipe to the stovetop this way: sear the chicken pieces first in a little olive oil, remove the chicken, add the onions to the pan, cook them till soft, add the garlic and chiles, cook a little longer, add the tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, and salt, then add the chicken, coat the chicken with the sauce, bring to a low simmer, cover, cook for 25 minutes, sprinkle with cheese, cover and cook for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted.