Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Now Not So Secret Chicken Enchiladas

The hubby's favorite meal is chicken enchiladas. It is a regular staple around here. Sometimes I serve it with Mexican rice and refried beans. But not this week. I scoured Pinterest for some fresh ideas and decided to go with cilantro lime rice and a cheesy bean dip.

Let's start with the enchiladas. I try to stretch the chicken in the meal to make as many enchiladas as possible. I normally make a pan of ten and two smaller pans of five to freeze. This meal freezes well and can be heated up in the oven in less than an hour on those days that I don't feel like cooking. It also is a great frozen meal to take to someone sick or recovering from surgery and new moms returning home from the hospital. 

Since I never use a recipe for these, all measurements are estimated. I've yet to mess up these enchiladas so I think it is safe to say you can play around with the recipe until you find your family's preference.

2 chicken breasts
1 - 10 oz can of Las Palmas Enchilada sauce (green mild or regular)
1 medium onion chopped
1-2 t minced garlic
1 t cumin
1 c chicken broth
1/2 c chopped cilantro (optional)
10-20 soft flour tortillas (depending on size and desired fullness)
vegetable oil
2-3 c Mexican blend shredded cheese  

1. First you will need to cook and shred the chicken. I find it easiest to stick the chicken in a crock pot and cover half way with water. Sometimes I add in a chicken bouillon cube to enhance the flavor as it cooks. Let it cook on high for a couple of hours. When you return, the chicken will be so tender that it will basically shred itself = less work for me. I've used frozen chicken and this is the best way to cook it  and keep it moist.

2.Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat and add 1-2 T of vegetable oil. Saute the onions (reserving 1/3 c to sprinkle over the enchiladas before baking) until translucent. Be sure to season them with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the shredded chicken and cumin. At this point  you will probably need to deglaze the pan as everything may be starting to stick. Add the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all of the tasty bits that were stuck to the pan. Stir in 1/3 c of the enchilada sauce and half of the cilantro. Turn off the heat. 

3. Now you need to set up your assembly line. Fill each tortilla with some of the chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Roll it up and stick it in your greased baking dish. Continue until you run out of chicken mixture or tortillas - whatever happens first! 

4. Top the baking dish(es) of enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce, sprinkle with remaining onions and cilantro. Now you can either bake or freeze your enchiladas. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. If frozen, cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an addition 10-15 minutes.

You can find the Chipotle copycat cilantro lime recipe I used here. I heart Chipotle. I've never found anything that compares with their burritos and, unfortunately, the closest is five hours away :-/  This rice is reminiscent of theirs. I did use brown rice instead and cooked it according to the package.


I got the cheesy bean recipe from my friend. She found it here. I did make some changes to it.
I mixed 1 can of refried beans, 1 can of Rotel,  and 1 cup of mexican blend cheese. I greased two pie pans and spread half a block of cream cheese on the bottom of each pan. Then I added the bean mixture and topped it all with another cup of cheese. It was oh so cheesy which is good because we like more cheese than bean in our dip :) I froze one pan for another meal.



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