This amazing casserole will warm your soul and fill your kitchen with amazing smells! This dish also makes fantastic leftovers for the week!
3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil, divided
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2½ tablespoons chili powder, divided
3 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
2½ teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
1½ cups chicken bone broth, homemade or store-bought
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried ground oregano
10 slices deli chicken breast
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro and/or sprigs
Crumbled Cotija cheese
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the chili powder, 2 teaspoons of the cumin, and 1½ teaspoons of the salt. Sauté for 2 more minutes.
2. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and simmer for 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, then set the sauce aside.
3. Season the chicken thighs on all sides with the remaining 1½ tablespoons of chili powder, the remaining teaspoon of cumin, the remaining teaspoon of salt, the paprika, and the oregano. Add the remaining tablespoon of ghee to the skillet, still over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes on each side until browned on both sides. Add the reserved sauce, cover, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred the meat with 2 forks. Set the shredded chicken and sauce aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
5. Place 5 slices of the deli chicken in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or casserole dish. Top with half of the shredded chicken, half of the sauce, and half of the Monterey Jack cheese. Top with the remaining deli chicken slices, shredded chicken, sauce, and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is melted.
6. Garnish the casserole with slices of avocado, chopped cilantro, and crumbled Cotija cheese. Store extras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a baking dish in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 minutes or until warmed through.