PHOTO BY R.J HINKLE.

South-of-the-Border Chicken Skillet

Executive chef Philip Carter of Aliso Viejo Country Club in Aliso Viejo, Calif., shares his simple recipe for tempting layers of chicken, tortillas, enchilada sauce, onions, peppers, and creamy melted Jack cheese. Expect a spicy Mexican kick!

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound boneless chicken breast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup Roma tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup white onions, diced

1/2 fresh jalapeño, minced

1 large poblano pepper, diced

1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup enchilada sauce

8 corn tortillas

2 cups Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, combined and shredded

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a medium nonstick, oven-safe skillet, add olive oil and warm it in the oven for 5 minutes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and bake it in the skillet for 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven. Let the chicken cool and slice it into 1/4-inch strips. Set the chicken aside.

Combine the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and both peppers. Set the vegetable mix aside.

In the skillet, layer the ingredients, starting with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce spread evenly on the bottom. Arrange 2 tortillas to cover the sauce and the bottom of the skillet, and top with 1/4 cup of the vegetable mix, 1/3 of the sliced chicken, and 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Cover with 2 more tortillas and repeat the process two more times. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese over the top layer.

Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes until the cheese bubbles. Sprinkle cilantro on top.

Yield: 6 servings

Chef’s Tip: “Blend Monterey Jack and cheddar in Mexican dishes because the combination of cheeses melts perfectly and the flavor is superb.”

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