Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chicken Tortilla

I'm off at Bouchercon Conference this week, with other writers and lots of fans. What fun. It's set in St. Louis, a fabulous city. Have you ever seen the arch? It stands as a "gate" to the western United States.

I'm going to moderate a panel on Friday called Escape from Dragon House, with authors Jennie Bentley, Juliet Blackwell, Denise Osborne, and our own MARY JANE MAFFINI, who is nominated to win a short story award. Yeah!

*Picture from the Bouchercon site

On Saturday, I'll be on a panel moderated by one of MLK's former contributors, the fabulous Julie Hyzy (also nominated for Barry Award.) The name of that panel: You Smell Like Dinner.  What a hoot, right? Culinary mystery authors will dish the dirt, including Joanna Carl, Cathy Pickens, and Ellen Crosby.

So, since I'm not single--I have a husband--I have to leave something at home for dinner, right?

I love an easy casserole, with 5 -10 simple ingredients, that men love as well as women.

My favorite is Chicken Tortilla.

Yes, I've shared this casserole recipe before (about a year and a half ago for Super Bowl), but it bears repeating. Hope you don't mind.

I was reminded of this recipe because I was on Facebook the other day and responding to a post by  Chef Jamie Gwen (terrific gal!) asking how her fans would use La Victoria Salsa. Instantly I thought of this recipe and not chips and dip. A number of people "commented" and asked for the recipe. So I thought I would post it again.

My mother gave me this recipe. Though she became a great cook, starting out in her marriage, she learned to follow directions off cans and boxes. I'm sure she found this on the side of a soup can or got it from one of her bridge-playing pals. Who cares? It's delicious and easy. And packed with cheese. Betcha can't eat just one portion!

Note: Best if cooked a day ahead and reheated, but cooking the same day is fine, too. You put it together like lasagna.


Joanie's (My mom's)
Chicken Tortilla


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, baked ahead, 1 hour, in foil.
1 chopped onion
2 (7-8 oz.) cans green chile salsa
2 cans Campbell's cream of mushroom soup  [use gluten-free mushroom soup, if you are celiac]
1 cup milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
12 corn tortillas, sliced in 1" strips

Mix onion, salsa, soup, milk in a bowl. [Third note: this stuff will look like glop and unappealing. Don't worry. It makes a great sauce!]

In 13 x 9 pan, LAYER the following:

1 scoop sauce
half of the tortillas lengthwise and widthwise
half of the chicken
half of the sauce


Cover with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake at 300 degrees (a slow oven) for 2 hours.

To reheat, put in oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour.


I like to serve this with a zesty red wine, sangria, or beer.

Lastly, check out my website and join my newsletter. I'll be starting up a new contest for the launch of Clobbered by Camembert soon.  

Best to all.

* * * * * * **


  1. I love gloppy sauce! It always makes the best tasting food. :) I'm glad you're running this recipe again because it's delicious and deserves another post! I'll definitely use the throwaway pan and bring it to the next party I've got!

  2. Elizabeth, I'm like you. Some gloppy sauces are just finger lickin' good. Or spoon luckin'.


  3. Have a great time at B'con, Avery! For those of us (sadly) not going, we hope you'll take lots of photos -- and give us the scoop on the Con. I'm so happy to see you re-posting your mom's famous Chicken Tortilla casserole. That was a huge hit when you posted it the first time. With busy fall days making us yearn for comfort food casseroles, I'm sure our new followers will appreciate it just as much.

    (And continued congrats and good wishes to Mary Jane on her nomination!)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse

  4. I wouldn't want to leave this behind because I would want to eat it myself! I know just the occasion too. Thanks, Avery!


  5. Thanks so much Daryl!!!! I can't wait to try it out... right after I get weighed at the doc's next week :)


  6. Cleo, sweet. I'll be cheering hard for MJ and taking lots of pix!
    MJ, I did freeze a portion . My mom didn't raise a dummy. Lol

    Karen, good luck with the doctor!!!


  7. Have fun at Bouchercon!! I wish I lived closer, I'd so be there. Plenty of variety in authors, genres, etc. Sounds like so much fun.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I plan on making this when DH returns from his hunting/male bonding trip next weekend.

  8. I'll be with you in spirit at Bouchercon! Love the glop. LOL! Sometimes things look like glop but they bake up soooo comforting and delicious!

    ~ Krista

  9. Welcome to St. Louis, Avery, Mary Jane, Julie, et al! Wish I could pop over to see you while you're here, but holler if you need anything.

    Avery, your recipes always illustrate the reason why I list cheese as the one food I couldn't live without! Thanks for this one - I will definitely be trying this one soon.

  10. Vickie, Krista, and Laineshots-

    Thanks for your thoughts. Back to workshops. Mary Jane was brilliant on the panel I moderated this morning.