Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipe Review: Rachael Ray's Chicken and Spinach Tortilla Bake

This recipe ran in the November issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. It caught my eye because I love Tex-Mex type foods.

Chicken and Spinach Tortilla Bake

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken cutlets (about 1 pound)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups store-bought salsa verde
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
4 large flour tortillas, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach (about 1/4 pound)
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

1.Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then shred the meat.

2.Whisk together the salsa verde and ricotta; season with salt and pepper. In a greased 9-inch square baking dish, layer one-third of the salsa mixture, tortillas, chicken, onion, spinach and pepper jack; repeat twice. Bake until golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Magazine suggestions:
Swap in 3 cups crushed tortilla chips for the flour tortillas for added crunch.
Try monterey jack instead of pepper jack cheese for a mild, less spicy dish.
Use a 15-ounce can of your favorite beans in place of the chicken for vegetarians.

My comments:
Great recipe! I admit that this dish looked like a trainwreck when I was putting it together and I honestly had no idea how it would turn out. I used a more curly leafed spinach and it was bulky. But never fear, it cooked down well and ended up looking like the magazine picture.
My chicken was a bit tough but I think I overcooked it. The next time I will use cooked chicken or make the vegetarian alternative and use a can of pinto beans.
The dish re-heats wonderfully and was probably even better the next day.
Will definitely make again.

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