Mexican Noodle Casserole

I found THIS recipe and thought I would give it a shot. My family of 4 does not like overly spicy things. So I just omitted the chipotles en adobo sauce. Besides I can't find them in my grocery store! You would think that with a city with a 25% Latino population the chain grocery store would carry chipotles en adobo sauce!! OK. On with how I also altered the recipe. My grocery store also doesn't carry fideos. Or at least not in a location that I am able to find them on the shelf. So I substituted fine egg noodles. I am sure they are cheaper than fideos but I don't have anything to compare them too! I also just sautéed a couple of chicken breasts in place of 2 cups shredded smoked turkey. My family never knew the difference! I didn't use new mexican chili powder, but used regular chili powder. And I used dried oregano from my herb garden from this past summer. Why pay for something if you can grow it for next to free!!?

So here is the recipe as I did it. To see the original click on the link above.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for pan
12 ounces FINE egg noodles
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 sautéed chicken breasts, cooked thoroughly and chopped
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
Sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 9x13-inch square baking dish with oil. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fine egg noodles and cook, turning them with tongs, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the noodles and any broken pieces to a plate.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, coriander, oregano, chili powder, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Crush the tomatoes over the pot with your hand and add them to the pot along with their juices. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water, the toasted fine egg noodles, salt, and pepper, to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, breaking up the noodles with a spoon, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked, chopped chicken.

Remove the bay leaf. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, and cover loosely with foil. Bake until the cheese melts and the casserole is hot through and through, about 20 minutes. If desired, serve with some sour cream drizzled over the top.

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