With Jack Frost nipping at our toes, the time for warming, hearty comfort food is most definitely here. And if it’s quick and easy to rustle up, so much the better.
This simple Chicken Tortilla Bake is a firm family favourite, and so easy to throw together with a few frozen veggies. It’s basically a lasagne with flour tortillas replacing the pasta sheets.
Make it even easier on yourself by using a ready-made white sauce if you like, although I much prefer making my own if I have the time.
Chicken tortilla bake
40g plain flour (sifted)
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
150g frozen spinach
150g frozen sweetcorn
4 flour tortillas
200g Gruyère cheese (or Cheddar)
Preheat the oven to 220°C / gas mark 7.
To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Stir in the sifted flour.
Return the pan to the heat and gradually add the milk, just a little at a time. Stir well after each addition, making sure all the milk is incorporated before adding more. Continue until all the milk is mixed in, and then cook very gently on a low heat for another 5 minutes.
Stir the mustard and cayenne pepper into the white sauce and season to taste. Set aside. (Alternatively, use 570ml shop-bought white sauce.)
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken pieces. Turn up the heat and cook the chicken for around 5 minutes until no pink remains.
Throw the spinach and sweetcorn into the pan and stir fry for a few more minutes until the frozen vegetables have defrosted and are warmed through. Stir a third of the white sauce into the chicken and vegetables.
Spoon another third of the white sauce into the base of a 20cm round baking dish. Lay a tortilla on top, followed by a third of the chicken mixture. Repeat this twice more, followed with the final tortilla. Cover with the remaining white sauce and the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and bubbling on top. Serve with a simple salad.