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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Easy chicken enchilada recipe

I love “flexible” recipes. If it’s not flexible to start with, I make it that way. Maybe that’s because my mom always taught me to be creative in the kitchen. Or maybe it’s because I never have a complete set of ingredients in my refrigerator.

Regardless of my fluctuating pantry contents, this is one of those recipes. It got a resounding thumbs-up from my husband. The recipe listed is the version I whipped up most recently (x3) when we had a group of 14 (yes, 14) college freshmen over for dinner. The more the merrier, I say! Mix it up to suit your needs and create a custom-designed dinner for 6!

Ingredients

Pick these up at your local grocery store for less than $8. These enchiladas feed 6-8hungry people for less than $1-1.30 per person!

Enchiladas

The ingredients for the bare enchiladas add up to just $6. (These are approximate measurements, mind you.)

  • 10 corn tortillas: $0.50
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded/pulled: $4
  • 3/4 cup sour cream: $0.75
  • Juice from 1 lime: $0.25
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chiles: $0.50
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Sauce

The ingredients for the sauce add up to less than $2.

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped: $0.50
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced: $0.10
  • 28-0z. can of crushed tomatoes (reduced sodium or salt-free, if possible): $1.25
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro: $0.10
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

The most time-effective method for me is to get the sauce going, then start working on the enchiladas while the sauce simmers. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

To make the sauce:

Sauté the onions in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the can of tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes.

To make the enchiladas:

  1. Mix the shredded chicken, sour cream, lime juice, green chiles, chili powder, salt and pepper. (If you have time, make the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator so the flavors can blend.)
  2. Spread some enchilada sauce in a 9 x 13 casserole dish to barely cover the bottom.
  3. Spoon 1/10 of the chicken mixture into a corn tortilla and fold in the sides to make a tube. Place the tube, seam side down, in the dish. Repeat until all 10 tortillas are rolled up in the dish. (Note: The tortillas will break. They will not be beautiful. You will also not be able to tell when they are cooked and covered in sauce. Accept this and move on.)
  4. Pour the rest of the sauce onto the enchiladas. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Alternative ideas: Use a different meat, add some corn or spinach, create a cream-based sauce, sprinkle cheese on top or try wheat tortillas instead of corn.

On the side: Squash sautéed in butter, salt and pepper. One of Stephen’s favorites!

Chicken enchilada plate with squash

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Roast chicken

I’ve been super busy…. Not too busy to cook, but too busy to post about it. I’m going to try and catch up on a few recipes in the next several days, because I’ve come across some yummy concoctions.

This roast chicken was pretty cheap and fed us for a few meals. I had never cooked a whole chicken at once before, but I really wanted to try. It was so easy!

Ingredients

I bought a whole chicken at Elrod’s on Cooper Street for about $3.50, and I already had a few potatoes, onions and carrots on hand. Also, these measurements are approximate.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1-3 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted
  • Seasonings like salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, etc.

You can also add mushrooms or celery, but I didn’t have any.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place it in a 9 x 13 pan. Tie the back legs together with some string and tuck the wings under the chicken so they don’t brown too quickly.
  2. Melt some butter and brush onto the outside of the chicken. Use your fingers if you don’t have a brush. Mix up some salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and press that onto the chicken with your fingers.
  3. Cut the potatoes into cubes, slice the carrots and cut the onion into chunks. Dump them into the pan around the chicken. Brush them with butter as well, and sprinkle some salt and pepper over them.
  4. Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours. If you have a meat thermometer, you’ll know it’s done when the inside of the chicken is 165° F.

It makes a healthy and delicious meal, and it looks like you worked really hard. 😉

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Stuffed chicken breast

Who doesn’t love cheese?

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a delightful cookbook my mom got me called “Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens.” Stephen always lifts an eyebrow when I say “I found a great recipe but I’m going to have to tweak it a little bit because I don’t have all the ingredients.” (Do you keep saffron threads or Manchego cheese on hand in your refrigerator just in case? Didn’t think so.) This one turned out delicious. In the cookbook it’s called Superlative Stuffed Chicken Breast. Here’s my slightly revised version.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil. I used some smoky olive oil for flavor.
  • Crumbled feta or other goat cheese
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 slices uncooked turkey bacon
  • 1/4 tsp. dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut a pocket or widthwise slit into each chicken breast and sprinkle sage inside. Tear each turkey bacon strip into two pieces. Place three halves into each breast. Stuff the pocket with feta cheese and close. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil to a sauté pan* and place it on the stove over medium heat. Once hot, place the stuffed chicken breasts in the pan and brown for about three minutes.
  4. Flip over the chicken breasts to the other side. Place the whole sauté pan in the oven and leave it there for about 25 minutes.
  5. Serve with anything. Really. It’s that good.

* Make sure the sauté pan can be placed in the oven. Check the bottom for manufacturer warnings.

I also slapped together a quick pea salad to go with it. And last night I made some French bread in this old breadmaker my mom gave me a long time ago (someone gave it to her when I was little, and she never used it. I did, so she gave it to me! Hooray!). This little gem has seen countless loaves of bread.

And this French bread was perfectly springy and delicious with almost no work required!

I’ll leave you with a thought-provoking poem our friend David composed (on our refrigerator…).

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