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Chicken and Olive Mole Casserole

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My Southwestern chicken casserole makes the perfect party dish when you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary. The mole sauce lends an authentic flavor, and folks are always pleasantly surprised to taste a little sweetness from the chocolate.

What You Need:

(Makes: 8 servings)

2 large onions, finely chopped, divided

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

5 tablespoons of chili powder

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

4 & 1/2 cups of regular or reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 ounce of semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

6 cups of cooked chicken, shredded

12 corn tortillas (6 inches), warmed

1 cup of pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced

4 cups (16 ounces) of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

What to Do:

STEP 1) In a large saucepan, sauté 1 cup of onion in oil until tender. Reduce heat to low. Add the garlic, salt, oregano, cumin and cinnamon; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in chili powder and flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Cook until mixture is reduced to 3 cups, about 35 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in chocolate.

STEP 2) In a large bowl, combine the chicken and 1/2 cup sauce mixture. Spread 1/2 cup sauce mixture into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Layer with half of the tortillas, chicken mixture, remaining onion and olives; top with 1 cup sauce and 2 cups cheese. Repeat layers.

STEP 3) Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

STEP 4) Enjoy!

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