Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Ultimate College Meal: Dorito Casserole

If any recipe that I've found epitomizes the typical college student diet, it's this one.  Yes, this is indeed... Dorito Chicken Casserole.  When you first hear the name of the dish, you may think it's bound to be absolutely disgusting, but trust me, it is delicious.  But be forewarned - this is definitely a guilty pleasure and should be enjoyed in moderation!  Even ask my friend Taylor, the king of non-moderation; the first time we had this, he ate half of the pan and felt very sorry afterward.

Since you're probably wondering what exactly Dorito Chicken Casserole would taste like, I will relent just this once and give you a sneak preview.  Honestly, it doesn't taste anything like Doritos!  I don't even like Doritos (which I realize is very strange, but I accept it).  The website where Joe's mom found this recipe actually calls it "Enchilada Casserole," which is really fitting for what the final product is.  It's Mexican, it's cheesy, it's delicious!

Note: I did make a couple of changes from the original recipe, as always.  Most notably, I added chicken!

What you'll need:
  •  One 13 oz. bag of original-flavor Doritos
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped onions
  • One 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • One can of chili w/ beans
  • One 10-15oz. can of enchilada sauce (the red sauce, not the green!)
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1.25 cups sour cream
  • 1 to 1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
How to make it: 

1)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a casserole pan (preferably 8.5x11 inches)

2)  Crush Doritos in bag until they are in small pieces.  Set aside 1.5 cups of the Doritos for the topping and pour the rest into a mixing bowl.

3)  In a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat, brown the chicken until it is no longer translucent.  Drain from the oil and set aside.

4)  Combine onions, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, chili, 1.25 cups of cheese (not all of the cheese!), and chicken with the Doritos.  Mix together gently with a spatula and pour into casserole dish.

5)  Bake for 20 minutes.

6)  Take casserole out of the oven and spread sour cream evenly over the top of the casserole.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese over the top of the sour cream, and then sprinkle the rest of the Doritos!

7)  Bake for 5 more minutes

You should now have something that looks a lot like this:

This picture was taken after my hungry family descended upon it (myself included)
I promise that your Dorito Casserole will not be half eaten when it comes out of the oven.

Recipe review:

This recipe is perfect if all of your friends are coming over for dinner one night.  I guarantee that everyone will be very skeptical at first, but once they take a bite, they will fall in love.  It may even get them to do the dishes for you afterward!

I also love that this recipe is extremely flavorful but super easy.  It gives you that "enchilada" tasta without all of the steps that enchiladas require.  When I made it today, I threw everything together yesterday when I had time, refrigerated it, and popped it in the oven about a half hour before my parents got home from work!

However, this is definitely not an everyday recipe, simply because it is filled with unhealthy calories.  Save it for those "comfort food" nights when you have everyone over and need to feed a lot of people fast.  That way, you won't have a half-pan of leftovers tempting you for the rest of the week.  I'm not saying that leftovers aren't great (we all know that I love them), but it's better to go for a little than a lot.

Grade: A- (the minus is for the unhealthiness, but the taste gets top marks!)

For next time...
  • Perhaps use another kind of meat?  The recipe doesn't have chicken to begin with, which means you can use whatever you have handy!
  • Vegetables!  There are none!  I'll bet that throwing in some corn (even if it's frozen!) or something else would be delish.
What did you think when you first heard "dorito casserole"?  Do you have any favorite junk food recipes that you love?

Coming up this week...

I'm sorry to say that tomorrow will be a no-cook day, as it is time for the Friday night Lent fish fry at the Knights of Columbus in town!  I do love the quirks of small-town America sometimes, and I miss them every once in awhile in the big city.  However, I may not be totally absent... I have a couple of blogs and topics up my sleeve!

But Saturday... get ready for a marathon cooking day!  Although dinner is an overdue corned beef and cabbage night, I'm stocking up my family (and myself) with a couple of dishes to freeze and reheat after I leave on Sunday.  Last time I only made food for myself, and they complained, so I'm trying to make up for it now.

Keep cooking!

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