Tuesday, August 18, 2009

South of the border via Ridgefield, Washington....

Man, I love chicken enchiladas! They’re cheesy and ooey-n-gooey and just dang yummy with a little spicy kick! I decided to make them this past weekend as my husband and I had picked up a couple of whole chickens at the store – they were so cheap! We actually bought 4 and I froze two – but I tell ya what…we paid less than 10 bucks for all four birdies. That can hardly be beat. Anyhoo….he put two chickens on the bbq and smoked’em for a good couple of hours. The meat was tender, juicy (that means moist, not floppy...sometimes too juicy a meat can seem floppy and raw-ish, ya know?) and flavorful – oh my gosh it was just perfectly cooked! Let me just say too that he made the roasted red taters that night for dinner as well and you know I hate to say it but they were better than mine! Oh well...that’s actually super cool ‘cause now there’s a meal that I know will be killer and I don’t have to do a thing save for tossing a salad. It’s nice to let someone else do the cookin’ from time to time. I always thought I’d hate that – I’m such a control freak in the kitchen! Oops…got off track – cut to the chase…I used the leftover chicky for enchiladas ;-)

And oh yeah….funny I should say I’m a control freak because this next part will totally contradict that statement. I don’t have a recipe for my chicken enchiladas, however, I can tell you how I make them and give you measurements like ‘about half a container of this or that’ because that’s how I make’m myself! Enchiladas are really a thing that you can adjust and tweak to your liking anyway….more chilies, less cheese, add in salsa etc, etc.

So – if you've got some leftover chicken taking up space in yer fridge these enchiladas are a big ol’ tummy-pleasing option! Oh – and I had enough filling to make two pans of five enchiladas each (I froze one). You can adjust this, or totally stuff your more full or just put more enchiladas in a bigger pan.

Chicken Enchiladas

Chunked/shredded chicken meat from about one whole chicken
Approx. 1, 16 oz container of sour cream - divided
2 bricks cream cheese - softened
Two regular-sized (10 -12 oz.) cans of enchilada sauce
1, 7 oz. can diced green chilies (or use two cans if you like – heck...make one can dice jalapenos for extra heat!)
Ground cumin
½ medium onion – small dice
3 to 4 cups of shredded cheese, half jack, half cheddar
Approx. 10 small flour tortillas (8” diameter)
1, 4 – 6 oz can sliced black olives (optional)


Pull the chicken meat apart and set aside – don’t shred the chicken too fine, you want chunks of meat, not a tuna fish-like consistency.
In a large bowl, put half the container of sour cream, both bricks of cream cheese, ½ to 2/3 of one can of enchilada sauce, the green chilies, several shakes of ground cumin and pepper and about ¼ to 1/3 teaspoon salt (give this mixture a few drops of Tabasco or cayenne if you like more heat). Combine all ingredients well….
...then add the onion....
…and half of the full amount of shredded cheese.
Mix everything thoroughly and FOLD in the chicken. Again, we don’t want a tuna fish consistency so don’t over-stir once the chicken is added in.
Take a tortilla and spoon on approx 1/3 cup of the mixture (remember, this amount of filling made ten enchiladas for me. So, if you like, ‘cut’ the filling in half with a rubber scraper, then use 1/5th of each half to fill five tortillas at a time to make sure you don’t run short.

Fold the two sides over the filling and place seam-side down in a 9 x 13 pan. Oh! Important thing to do that I didn’t do (but I fixed marginally well) – See two pics down?....the step of mixing sour cream with the enchiladas sauce? Before you lay the filled/rolled tortillas in the pan, ladle a small amount of this sauce into the pan and spread it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Not a lot of sauce…just enough so the enchiladas aren’t sitting on a baron surface. You could also just spray the pan with non-stick spray if you like.

Okay…all tortillas filled and in the pans. Again, you could put all in one large lasagna pan if you wish, or use two and cook both separately or freeze one for a future dinner like I did.
As I stated earlier, you mix together the remainder of the container of sour cream and the rest of the enchilada sauce (1 can plus about ½ of the opened can)…..
..then spread half of the mixture over one pan of enchiladas (save the rest for the other pan or use it all if you’re cooking all of the enchiladas at the same time).

Chop three green onions….
..then top the whole thing with the onions, the can of olives and the remaining shredded cheese (note: there is only enough remaining cheese for one pan of enchiladas….I didn’t think I’d have so much filling that I’d be making two pans when I started shredding, so shred another cup or so if you’re doing all ten).

Now – bake the sucker at 350 for a good 40 minutes – longer if it’s been chilled...lots longer. Like almost an hour and a half. You want the cheese bubblin’ on the edges and it molten inside!

You want it lookin’ like this….

…and this….YUM!

Hungry yet?

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