Layered Chicken and Chile Dutch Oven Hearty Enchilada Casserole

img_4631aI really need to break into my old recipe box from years past more often. It’s full of folded, stained recipe cards from my college years, with instructions and directions neatly written in now-faded ink. With great intention, I was collecting recipes from roommates, boyfriends’ families, and my own family members. They would eventually add to my food journey and shape my cooking style. I found a jewel the other day on a whim. This recipe is from Grandpa Bishop, recipient of many Boy Scout Awards including the Silver Beaver, the highest honor a Boy Scout Council can bestow. It’s one of his star dutch oven recipes, anticipated by all scouts young and old at every campout.

As my little family grew, time found me altering the recipe, using chicken instead of ground beef, incorporating chiles from Hatch, New Mexico or Pueblo, Colorado, and converting the use of coals to the use of an oven. The heavy cast iron pot I’ve used for 15+ years now is my porcelained-enamel 5.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven. I made this for my son’s game-night last night and it was a huge hit with the college-aged boys, who emerged from the man-boy cave (the basement) twice for seconds.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb chicken cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper (I also use a small amount of McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 28oz can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 6oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 dozen flour tortillas (I use the ones from Costco that I cook myself)
  • 6 oz chopped chiles (use Hatch chiles or any grown locally), roasted and diced
  • 6 oz sliced black olives
  • grated Cheddar cheese


  1. In a large non-stick skillet warm olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and diced chile peppers. Continue to saute for 6-8 minutes until juices run clear.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix about 2/3 of the enchilada sauce (reserving remaining 1/3 of the sauce), tomato sauce and chili powder.
  3. Warm or cook tortillas on flat stove-top grill.
  4. Pour about 1/3 cup of enchilada-tomato sauce mixture into bottom of oiled 5.5 quart dutch oven. Arrange three tortillas over the sauce, overlapping as needed to completely cover the sauce. Add another 1/4 cup of sauce over top of tortillas; use a basting brush to spread sauce across all of the tortillas. Top with the chicken-chile-onions mixture, olives and some cheese. Repeat for three layers, finishing with 1/4 cup of sauce over all the layers. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  5. Cover the pot and place in 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Dish servings on top of spring mix lettuce; garnish with diced tomatoes and cilantro. Sour cream and remaining sauce can be served on the side as desired.

Happy Cooking! (And Eating!!)

Note:  To make this true dutch oven style, Grandpa Bishop would bake 45-50 minutes with 8-10 coals on bottom and 14-16 on top. Serve and garnish as above.

Diana Bishop, Home Cook

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