Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas and Enchilada Lasagna

I am pretty good with my meal planning - and buying the needed groceries to make those meals.  However, the rest of the family usually has other ideas for that food -especially on nights dad's in charge.  These meal came about as a result of that.

One night company was on their way over and enchiladas were on the menu, however I discovered Dan had used the last of the beef a few nights before, when I was at a meeting.  I did have tons of chicken though, so I got a bit creative and the result was BETTER than our usual beef enchiladas!

This is now my go-to meal for bringing people - new moms post-baby meal, fresh out of hospital, etc. It freezes well, if needed, is filling, and easy to adjust the amount I make to the family that needs it.  I can feed 2 or 20 - just make a larger batch.  If I am bringing more than one meal I usually whip up some taco soup as well since the add-ons for that (tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream) are the same as the enchiladas.

The recipe below makes about 6 enchiladas - which was perfect because this meal was for first-time parents and only needs to feed 2 adults.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
taco seasoning
lime juice
Pace Picante Salsa
1 lb shredded cheddar (or Mexican blend) cheese (more or less depending on your preference)
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can mild red enchilada sauce (when making meals for others it is safest to go mild and let them spice it up)
flour tortillas - fajita size (taco size are too small to stuff it all in and corn ones will break apart - however if the meal is for a gluten free family, go ahead and use corn - and check the seasoning for gluten too)

I prefer to cook up my chicken in the crockpot - high for 3 hours - because it shreds nicely and I can attend to other tasks. Stir in seasoning, lime juice, and salsa.  I buy a large taco seasoning from Costco so I can't really tell you the measurement, usually I taste test.  Just a hint of lime! Add a small amount of water if it is too dry and the seasoning isn't fully mixed in.

This chicken can be used for so many dishes -or chicken tacos.  Make a large batch and freeze while you're at it! Add onions if they are your thing.  My kids won't eat them.

Add a spoonful of pinto beans to tortilla, spread some chicken on and top with cheese.  Roll up. Repeat.

Top with enchilada sauce and more cheese.  Cover with foil and label - Cook 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 

To complete the meal I make Spanish Rice (the tupperware container on the right) and toss in a small guacamole and sour cream, a bag of frozen corn (we make our corn with butter and pepper - delish!), and cookies.  I was lazy/busy today so I included store-bought cookies in this meal.


I've made meals for others a total of 8 times in 4 weeks - so my family is a bit "enchiladad-out."  I even have a pan in the freezer for next month.  But I do not want to waste the effort and dirtied dishes.  So I decided to mix it up a bit this time.  Enchilada "lasagna" was born.

Same ingredients:
Cooked, shredded, seasoned chicken from above
4 tortillas (still using the large fajita-size ones)
Can of diced chili-ready tomatoes
Can of corn
1/2 pound of shredded cheddar cheese
Can pinto beans (or black if you like)
Can of mild red enchilada sauce

First layer in pan - 2 soft shell tortillas
pinto beans
chicken mixture
half can of corn, half can of tomatoes
generous handful of cheese
half can enchilada sauce

Repeat - tortillas, beans, chicken, tomatoes, corn, cheese, sauce on top.

I cooked it for half an hour at 350 and served topped with sour cream. My kids added black olives and my hubby had some diced onions. I made up some more of that Spanish rice and had some chips and guac too!