Football season is finally here! Game watching! Tailgating! Team rivalries! Wait a sec……what? I don’t know about you, but I was NOT ready for fall. I still had so many summer recipes to try and barely even acquired a tan. This is a bit sacrilegious to say for a gal who can usually be heard singing the praises of pumpkin spice lattes and Thanksgiving side dishes. Nevertheless, summer is gone and here we are, in the beginning weeks of changing leaves and college football.
This past weekend’s weather helped to nudge me along into my favorite season, primarily because it did a complete 180. Our three-month-long streak of warm, sunny days ended abruptly with the onset of the damp, cold, and overcast season Oregonians like to call autumn, winter, and spring. Out came the rain boots and sweaters.
The best part about the rain, however, is the ability to spend an entire Saturday indoors planted in front of ESPN without feeling even remotely guilty. Living on the West Coast also means live college football coverage starting at 9 a.m. All-day ball equals all-day food…preparations must be made.
For whatever reason, I have developed a deep conviction that watching football requires one to eat chips and dip. Hot dip, cold dip, baked dip, healthy dip, cheesy dip, spicy dip…as long as you can dip a chip into it, it’s good in my book. This particular day I had an unshakable craving for an excessively cheesy dip. I’ll go ahead and blame this indulgence on Pinterest and its photo-barrage of hot and bubbly Crockpot delights.
This recipe is actually an adaptation of The Pioneer Woman’s White Chicken Enchiladas, a recipe that has helped me win over the hearts of many friends, strangers, and colleagues. I needed this in dip form…ASAP. Well, the outcome was nothing short of a “touchdown,” and made me pretty excited to add this dish to my game-day repertoire. Enjoy!
Baked White Chicken Enchilada Dip
Updated 9-20-15 for clarity and a few tweaks.
Yields: about 6 cups, or enough for about 10 people, give or take
2 chicken breasts, a little over 1 lb. total
1.5 cups reserved broth from boiled chicken (see method below)
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño , seeded and finely diced (optional- this adds a lot of heat)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
8 oz sour cream
16 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
7 oz can diced green chilies, drained well
14 oz can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained well
Juice of 1 fresh lime
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. salt
Place raw chicken in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat. Let it cook at a low boil/rapid simmer for about 1 hour, adding water as necessary to keep the chicken submerged. Cook until the chicken easily pulls apart with a fork. Drain off the liquid into a separate bowl and set aside. Use two forks or tongs to shred the chicken…set aside. This should yield about 2.5 cups shredded.
In the same small pot, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium high and sauté the onion and jalapeño until tender.
Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed onion and jalapeño and stir. It will resemble a loose paste, or “wet sand at low tide.”
Slowly add 1.5 cups of the reserved chicken broth, a little at a time, whisking vigorously at the same time, until all the liquid is added. Continue cooking a few minutes over medium high heat, until the mixture has thickened slightly. If you didn't quite have 1.5 cups broth left after boiling the chicken, just add water to meet the 1.5 cups.
Reduce heat to low. Whisk in the sour cream, then add 3 cups of the shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
Add the green chilies, beans, chicken, lime juice, most of the chopped cilantro, salt, and cayenne. Stir just until combined.
Pour mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish or cast-iron skillet that will hold 6 cups. Sprinkle the last cup of shredded cheese over the top.
Turn the oven to “Broil.” Position a rack up close to the top. Place the baking dish under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining chopped cilantro, and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips.
You can also shred boiled chicken by placing the chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment. Turn on low for just a minute or so, just until shredded.
To reheat, pop the baking dish in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F and tent it with foil. Bake until heated through, about 15-20 minutes.