Sweet Chicken Casserole

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First, prepare some potatoes.

Potatoes

  • 2 pre-baked potatoes per serving (baking in the microwave is OK)
  • butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • optional: jalapenos, minced
  • optional: garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • seasonings to taste

Remove the skin from the potato where loose -- where the skin is still firmly attached, leave it on. Dice to sizes or slices that are appealing to your group.

Heat some butter in a pan over medium or medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the onion, optional jalapenos and optional garlic.

Once onions are soft, add the potato. Cook until warmed through. Add spices to taste. If they start to dry out, you can add some liquid.

Once the potatoes are ready, put them at the bottom of a deep oven-safe casserole dish.

Next, prepare some tomato sauce.

Sweet Tomato-based Sauce

  • oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • jalapenos, minced
  • garlic, crushed
  • white sugar
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • A couple bay leaves
  • red wine to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • seasonings to taste

Heat some oil in a pan over medium or medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the onion, jalapenos and garlic. Add a pinch of sugar, and cook until the onion starts to caramelize.

Add the tomato sauce. Once the sauce heats up, add a couple bay leaves, red wine, white sugar, salt and pepper and seasonings to taste. Heat until thickened. Remove the bay leaves.

Once the tomato-based sauce is ready, pour directly over the potatoes in the casserole dish.

Cheese layer

  • mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Sprinkle some shredded cheese over the tomato sauce in the casserole dish, reserving just a bit.

Now, prepare your chicken.

Chicken Cutlets

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • oil
  • Flour or potato starch

Wash and butterfly each breast, and cut it in half. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat some oil (about 1/8” deep) over medium-high heat, in a deep pan on the stove.

Coat the pieces of chicken in the flour or starch. Cook in the hot oil, 2-3 minutes per side, and drain on paper towels.

Moisten each piece of chicken in the reserved tomato sauce, on each side, and layer on top of the cheese in the casserole dish.

Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Next, prepare a vegetable and cheese topping.

Vegetable and Cheese Topping

  • vegetables (thin strips of carrot prepared with a peeler, scallions sliced lengthwise, snap peas with strings removed, sliced red or green bell pepper, bits of broccoli flower)
  • mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: panko bread crumbs

Combine the vegetables, the cheese, the salt and pepper, and (optionally) the bread crumbs. Layer on the top of the casserole.

Finishing

  • red wine

Pour just enough red wine over the top of the vegetables to mositen them, so they don’t become too burnt in the oven.

Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serves: 5

Preparation time: 150 minutes