Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tami's Chicken Enchiladas

I've been cooking since I was 12 years old. I was raised in a single parent household and as the oldest, mom taught me to cook young so that I could help her out by having dinner ready by the time she got home. That's a long time cooking and I went through a period where it wasn't really a lot of fun and definitely a 'chore' to do.

Recently I've been trying to liven up dinners and have been watching shows like: Barefoot Contessa, Giada at Home (also her old show), Sandra Lee's shows and a new one $10 meals.

Online there's The Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen.

With the TV shows I don't always follow their exact recipe but I get ideas and inspiration for something I've made in the past with a new twist.

Now, I'm not Ree so there's not really pretty photos but here's my Chicken Enchilada recipe that I recently made. It should be able to feed a family of four, change amounts to suit your needs. I'm not a measure-er, I eyeball it and add more if I need to do so. All measurements are approximations.

"Sauce" for the chicken:
1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise (the boys like Miracle Whip, but I don't, so they have to eat it this way - your choice!)
1/4-1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
3-4 tablespoons La Victoria Red Taco Sauce (mild)
1/2-1 cup shredded cheese (I use a colby jack because it's versatile)

(There has been a version in the past that used the the Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup from Campbell's along with some Ranch dressing to thin it down. I stopped doing this because it was voted that no one liked the Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup portion.)

Stir until combined:

I broiled two boneless chicken breasts, you could also microwave them. Unlike the cooks in the cooking shows, no I didn't pre-season them in anyway (no salt & pepper - do so if you'd like, it your choice!). I then used a fork to shred them. I used to think that would be a lot of work, but surprisingly its not!

The microwave in the meantime was busy warming up the can of Refried Beans. I get the no fat, green chilies and lime.

There was also a can of enchilada sauce heated up, but I forgot to take a photograph of it. It's red, its enchilada sauce, you'll see it in the layers photos. ;-)

I have honestly never looked at a recipe for Spanish Rice, so don't know how authentic I am with this, and I know that technically because I don't dip my tortillas in the enchilada sauce that these might be 'burritos', this is what my family calls them, you call them what you'd like. :-) My Spanish Rice involves making a pot of steamed white rice and once its cooked adding 1/4 cup of my homemade salsa to it. (My salsas also do not contain cumin or cilantro, cause I don't like the flavors of them - I'm picky that way.)

From the refrigerator I pull out the sour cream and I'm ready to start assembling:
Step one is to put the Tortilla down. I get the big ones:

On top of the tortilla I spoon a layer of rice down the center:

Then comes the beans. Spread them out so that they cover the rice layer. Be careful, the rice will want to stick to the bean spoon so I glop it and then spread out:

Next is the cheese-chicken sauce layer. I should add that if you'd like to be 'semi-homemade' you could substitute the canned chicken you can find in the tuna fish area for the shredded chicken breasts. I've done that in the past when time was short or budgets tight.

Almost done! Here's where I pour on the enchilada sauce and add the sour cream. You could also add guacamole here too. I didn't have any so didn't add that. I also add more shredded cheese. You could save this shredded cheese and do it over the top, but it wasn't how I was assembling for this version. I've done both.

I then pop into the microwave for under a minute to just melt the shredded cheese. If you'd like you could pop into the oven set at 200 degrees while you assemble the others. The low temp will melt the cheese but shouldn't dry out the tortilla too much. If you're worried about drying out, but it in a pan with a cover.

I leave it up to the individual if they'd like to pour more enchilada sauce on the top of it prior to eating.

We're a family of three and I have enough leftover to make one extra, more if I was less generous in the individual servings. Brandon loves it because he then has a great lunch the next day. I actually only used about 1-1/2 of the chicken breasts in this recipe. I saved the leftover shredded chicken for another meal.

So, is it really a burrito?

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