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This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is combine creativity with frugality. I hate wasting anything. This dish is not only authentic, it can make good use of leftovers. Pinching pennies in the kitchen does not have to be bland. In fact, I take it as a personal challenge to create the opposite. The filling for these enchiladas is negotiable if you will. Let me explain what I mean. If you have a whole chicken that you have boiled and de-boned just to make enchiladas, great! You can fill them with the chicken alone. Or if you are like me and want/need to make your meat stretch to more than just one meal, grab your left over rice (white or brown) and exchange it for part of the chicken. When you season it all the same way, it really just adds a different texture. You can also use navy beans or pinto beans in the same way. The real defining taste sensation in this dish is the sauce. Oh man, it makes you feel like your are somewhere south of the border eating to die for authentic Mexican cuisine. This recipe is relatively inexpensive to make and if you have the meat already cooked, prep time isn't too bad.

Sauce -

3 C. chicken broth
2 T chili powder
1/4 - 1/2 C. olive oil
1/2 C. flour
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
Cook in a sauce pan over med. heat until thick and bubbly.
Add more salt or chili powder to taste.

Chicken Filling -
2 - 3 C. cooked shredded chicken
or 1 C. shredded chicken and 2 C. rice or beans (we like rice the best)
1 1/2 - 2 tsp cumin
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 c. diced onions or 2 T dried onion
1 small can diced green chilies
1 tsp oregano
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to make the filling.
Additional ingredients: about 12 - 14 corn tortillas, 1/4 - 1/2 c., 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, olive oil, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

First heat 1/4 c olive oil in a small frying pan. Cook the corn tortillas on each side just long enough to soften them and then quickly remove them. You may have to add additional olive oil after cooking half of them. Place about 1/4 c of the chicken filling on the tortilla and spread it out in a line then pour a T of the sauce across the top of the chicken. Fold the sides over each other and place seam side down in a pan. You should be able to get two rows of 6 or 7 enchiladas. When you have used all the filling, cover the ends of the enchiladas with the sauce and pour a little bit down the center of the them. Top with the cheese and bake for 30 mins. at 350.

Serve hot with all your yummy toppings and some re fried beans or corn on the side.

TIPS: A great money saving tip is to cook your chicken in chicken broth then save the broth to cook your rice in if you don't already have leftover rice.

If you already have the rice, save your chicken broth in 2 C. increments and freeze it for future use. It gives rice a little extra flavor when it is cooked in the chicken broth.

When ever you buy those delicious and inexpensive rotisserie chickens at Costco, take the extra time to boil them for 10 minutes and then de-bone them. You might be surprised at how much meat you can get off. Then freeze the meat and the broth separately for future use.

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