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Saturday, November 1, 2008

shredded chicken enchiladas

1/4 teaspoons Mexican or taco seasoning or 1 envelope Chicken taco seasoning
1/2 to 2/3 cup water (or amount indicated on taco seasoning package)
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if using frozen chicken breast 2 large or 3 medium to large)
1 1/2 cups mild, medium or hot traditional red enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups canned mild, medium or hot green chili enchilada sauce
2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese, divided (you can use light cheese if you want) (reserve some for the topping)
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves ~ use to taste, we use more because we love it!
1 large can drained, sliced black olives (we buy whole and slice them ourselves)
1 small can drained, chopped green chilies
8 (6-inch) yellow corn or white flour/low carb tortillas*

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

To shred chicken you can cook it however you prefer. I find it easiest to shred by boiling the chicken in a pot with chicken broth for 10 to 15 minutes. Check the chicken before draining to ensure that it is cooked through but not overly done.*

Drain the chicken and let cool or put on ice if you are shredding right away. Then just shred the chicken by hand or with a fork if you prefer. Large or small pieces is up to you. If you prefer not to shred, you can grill or bake seasoned chicken and cut into bite size chunks.

In a pan over medium low heat, mix the water, taco seasoning, or your own combination of seasonings. Simmer for a minute or two and when well combined add the shredded chicken and mix to coat. Simmer for another few minutes to heat through and ensure that all the chicken is seasoned.

In a medium saute or frying pan over medium heat, combine the enchilada sauces. Stir to combine and simmer to heat up, not boil. It's important to use a wide pan to be able to dip the tortillas into the sauce.

Spoon enough sauce into a 13x9x2 inch baking dish to evenly coat the bottom.

Optional*:: Wrap the tortillas in a damp, clean, lint-free dish towel and microwave them until just warm and just soft and pliable, about 30 seconds. T NOTE:: If using whole wheat or low carb tortillas skip this step, it actually makes it harder to roll them.

Dip one tortilla in the remaining sauce, to coat both sides. In a strip down the center of the tortilla place your cheese, olive, cilantro, chilies and chicken. Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in the casserole dish.

I usually assemble these right in the dish so I often may add a bit more sauce to the bottom of the pan as I go along.
Make sure to save some cheese to add to the top.

Ladle the remaining sauce over the top then sprinkle the tops evenly with the remaining cheese. You can also garnish with some olives if you like. Cover the dish with foil and bake it for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake the enchiladas an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted both on the top and on the insides.

Makes 4 (2 enchilada) servings.

Medium heat sauces are not overly hot. Mild may be too bland unless you really prefer your food with no heat or your favorite brand of sauce is hotter than others.

  • I use low carb or whole wheat tortillas sometimes, just depends what's in the fridge. These are more pliable than corn tortillas so pre-warming in the microwave is optional. I usually don't because it seems to make them break while "rolling"!
  • I love chicken but I hate the funny bits I find in it (don't ask, it was a childhood trauma!) ~~ so I boil my chicken in chicken broth or stock for about fifteen minutes. I put it on ice to cool and pretty quickly shred it by hand ~ hence, being able to remove the funny bits! I put it back into a pan or pot with some Mexican seasoning or a packet of chicken taco seasoning mix and voila....fabulous shredded chicken!! Just don't overcook it the first time. 10 to 12 minutes may do the trick ~ it really depends on the size of the chicken breasts and if they are fresh or frozen. I pull one out and check it before draining the boiling water. Then just a few minutes with the seasoning to get it all mixed together ~ you are not really needing to cook it again.
  • My family loves spicy, spicy foods so I use medium to hot in almost everything. The beauty of this recipe if you use what you like best!
  • Good, quick and simple!

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