Cooking With Mrs. Patterson: A Glimpse Into Fine Dining

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Another one of Mrs. Patterson’s superb-looking creations: homemade pizza. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patterson.

Cooking can be a hazardous pastime depending upon your skills; if you’re anything like me, you’ll most likely burn down your kitchen trying to boil a pot of water. If you’re fortunately on the other side of the spectrum, where you’ve been blessed by the cuisine gods with miraculous cooking skills, you’ll most likely enjoy making this delicious recipe given to us by our very own Mrs. Patterson.

Mrs. Patterson’s special cookbook, gifted to her by her mother. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patterson.

The chicken enchilada casserole recipe was passed down to Mrs. Patterson through her grandmother, Bertha Morrison, who prepared the meal throughout Mrs. Patterson’s childhood and adult life. The recipe sits among 175+ other recipes in Mrs. Patterson’s unique cookbook, a handmade present gifted to her by her mother. Mrs. Patterson has made only 80% of the recipes that live inside the lovely scrapbook-like cookbook; each recipe has either been passed down to her, given by a friend, cut out of a cooking magazine, or has been researched online for hours by Mrs. Patterson herself, before being modified, tried out, and noted down.

The recipe in question, the chicken enchilada casserole, has been in the Morrison family for many moons, and was even featured in a newspaper in Ohio. Without further ado, here’s Bertha’s famous chicken enchilada casserole!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large chicken breasts (deboned, baked, and torn in bite-sized chunks)
  • 1 7 oz. can of whole green chilies (cut in bite-sized chunks)
  • 1 large clove fresh garlic (minced-optional)
  • 1 lb. longhorn cheese (shredded) *use cheddar for more flavor
  • 1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
  • 12 corn tortillas (softened in hot oil)
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup (diluted with I C. drippings from baked chicken)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. marjoram

Mix in the spices (chili powder, thyme, cumin, and marjoram) into the Cream of Chicken soup and then heat the mixture thoroughly. After, layer the ingredients in a large, greased casserole dish in precisely this order:

  1. Torn pieces of softened corn tortillas to cover the bottom of the dish
  2. Chicken pieces
  3. Green chili chunks
  4. Diced onion
  5. Shredded cheese
  6. A few garlic pieces
  7. 1/2 C. Cream of Chicken with spices
Another one of Mrs. Patterson’s superb creations: homemade pizza. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Patterson.

Continue layering until all of the ingredients have been used, leaving enough shredded cheese to put on the very top layer of the casserole. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. During the last 15 minutes, remove the foil so that the top of the casserole can brown.

Side note: Bertha’s chicken enchilada casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated (if so, allow an extra ten minutes of baking time).

Have fun making this fantastic recipe, Knights! And don’t forget (as Mrs. Patterson was quick to remind me): the trick to preparing any recipe is to make it with lots of love.