Monday, May 10, 2010

Concoction Enchildadas, Chicken three ways

I realize the name is a little odd, but concoction is the name Michael gives to anything I make that doesn't have a definite recipe. These enchiladas are different nearly every time. The only constant is that there is always cheese and tortillas. You can substitute nearly anything that you like wrapped in a tortilla in this "recipe." The quantity of filling determines how many tortillas you'll need. If you make too much filling, refrigerate it and make some more enchiladas, or cook more rice and serve it over top. I know the directions look long, but the actual dish doesn't take that long to make.

10-12 tortillas (I like corn, but have used flour before - if using corn, spray both sides of the tortillas with nonstick spray and allow to heat in a 350 oven for 2-3 minutes)
2-3 chicken breasts, or a Costco rotisserie chicken, shredded* see explanation below
chicken broth* see explanation below
about one cup of cooked rice, if desired
about one cup of black beans, if desired
about one cup of corn, if desired
about two cups of cheese, shredded
2 cans of 10 oz. enchilada sauce (I use one red and one green)
8 oz. cream cheese on occasion

*For chicken three ways, bake, grill, or otherwise cook a whole chicken (or go to Costco and buy one). Serve with whatever side items strike your fancy.
Meal number one. Shred remaining chicken to use in enchiladas (or some other meal). Meal number two. For meal number three, put remaining chicken (bones and all) in a pot filled with water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Allow this to simmer for as long as you have time for; I've done it for as long as three hours. When you've waited long enough, remove the bones and skim the fat off of the top. Add carrots, celery, onion, and/or any other vegetables you like. When those have nearly finished cooking, add some noodles, and voila - meal number three is chicken noodle soup. Now, back to enchiladas.

*If you are using raw chicken, boil the breasts in a pot with enough broth to cover the top of the meat with one inch of broth. Bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20-60 minutes (the longer the better, but it usually takes about 20 minutes for the chicken to be fully cooked). If you allow the chicken to simmer for the longer amount of time, be sure to check on it every so often so it doesn't cook dry. When chicken is cooked, remove from heat - don't drain, shred chicken.

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Add chicken and one can of sauce to remaining broth (if using the raw chicken method). Heat this mixture to a simmer and allow to simmer until you need the filling - this is where I use the red sauce.
3. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray.
If using cream cheese, add to the second can of sauce - this is where I use green sauce. Cover the bottom of the pan with about 1/2 cup of the second can of sauce. Be sure all other ingredients are prepped.
4. Add rice, beans, and corn to the chicken mixture. Get ready to start rolling.
5. Add some filling and cheese to a tortilla, roll it up, and place it seam side down in the 9x13 pan. Repeat until filling is used up or tortillas run out.
6. Pour remaining can of sauce over top of rolled enchiladas, being sure to spread it evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes. If the cheese isn't browned after 20 minutes, turn the broiler on to low, and broil until the cheese has browned. It doesn't take long for it to turn from melted pale cheese to browned to black, so watch carefully.
7. After removing from oven, allow the enchiladas to cool for about five minutes. Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, avocado chunks, olives, etc. Enjoy!