Thursday, December 16, 2010

Don't Knock It...

...Until you've tried it.
If you have read my blog for a while now, you know that my husband and I garden, grow a lot of our own produce, and enjoy cooking with fresh, seasonal, local, & organic ingredients... yadda yadda. Well, sometimes you get lazy and just want to be a little bad.
The following recipe is for those times.
This recipe is not for those who are watching their weight or sodium intake- as it relies on a fair amount of cheese and
pre-made/ canned ingredients. I'm fairly certain that one serving is your entire daily caloric intake, and must have been
originally created in the 1970's (sliced black olives??). Once baked, it really is more casserole-like (70's influence) than
traditional enchiladas. But it is soooo good and comforting on a chilly winter's evening.
We usually make this a couple of times during the "winter" in L.A. Fun for New Year's Day spent at home recovering,
or a casual holiday get-together with a couple of good friends.
It's easy, but not takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. If you are making it for two,
you'll have plenty of leftovers for the week.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4 as a main dish
2 cloves of Garlic peeled & smashed with the flat side of a knife
1 Jalapeño Pepper, halved with seeds & core removed
1/4- 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 small can of sliced Black Olives
1 32 oz box of reduced sodium chicken broth
1 regular sized jar of salsa
1 package of large yellow corn tortillas
1 16 oz can of red enchilada sauce
1 16 oz can of green enchilada sauce
1 16 oz package of shredded reduced fat "Mexican" cheese
1/4 cup of crumbled Queso Fresco (optional)
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 3 small to medium boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Heat oven to 375 F.

Take a large pot, placed rinsed, trimmed chicken breasts in the pot with the jalapeño, garlic, & pour in chicken broth
so breasts are just covered completely with liquid. Add a little water if needed to accomplish this. Bring to a boil on
a stovetop over medium- high heat, then reduce to a simmer until the breasts are cooked all the way through.
Cut into the breasts with a knife to check doneness.
Be sure to do this step in a kitchen with decent ventilation. If your jalapeño turns out to be a spicy one, boiling it can
sometimes irritate the eyes & nose (like cutting a strong onion). This usually does not bother me, but some individuals
may be more sensitive.
Carefully drain the pot of the broth, leaving the breasts, garlic, and jalapeño in the pot. A little broth left in the pot is o.k.
Shred the chicken with a knife and a fork. Mash/ cut up the garlic & jalapeño. This is optional.
The original recipe (yeah yeah, I know Jessica Alba, but trust me this is good) tells you to discard the garlic &
jalapeño with the broth- but I think the dish tastes better with it left in. Discard any fatty, gristly bits of chicken.
Mix nearly the entire jar of salsa into the pot with the shredded chicken, garlic, and jalapeño. I just usually use Herdez
brand, medium spicy, but you can use your brand of choice, and vary the amount of salsa you add to the shredded
Refrigerate chicken and salsa mixture until ready to use.

Mix 3/4 package of shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, and most of the olives together in a medium bowl.
Set aside.

Mix together & heat the red and green enchilada sauces in a sauce pan. You can play around with the amount of sauce
and brands, level of spiciness, etc. I like to mix the red sauce with the green.The red has a nice savory flavor and
tends to be a little milder, the green has a nice acidity and tends to be spicier. Mixing them together combines the best
of both worlds.

Heat 8 tortillas. You can wrap them in slightly damp paper towels and do this in the microwave, but I prefer to heat them
one by one in a non- stick pan. Heating the tortillas make them more pliable, and easier to roll. Set warmed tortillas
Prepare a large casserole dish by spraying the inside with a a non-stick oil cooking spray. Trader Joe's makes an olive
oil spray that I use.
Assemble enchiladas: take a warm tortilla, place approximately 2 tablespoons of the salsa and chicken mixture down
the center of the tortilla and a handful of the cheese, olive, and cilantro mixture on top of that. Fold/ roll tortilla,
place seam down in the oiled casserole dish. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled and in the casserole dish. You can
play around with the meat/ cheese ratio to suit your liking. Even the # of tortillas that you use & fill if your casserole
dish is big enough! Cover the enchiladas with approximately 1/2 - 3/4 of the warmed enchilada sauce. Sprinkle remaining
shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, olives, and the 1/4 cup of the queso fresco on top. Pop in the oven for 20-30
minutes and bake until sauce is bubbling, the cheese is slightly browned, and the enchiladas are heated through.
Serve with remaining sauce on the side, a mixed green salad, and/ or refried beans.
Tastes even better the next day as leftovers!!

**Bonus: Other "Bad" Recipes that I like: Warm Artichoke Dip, Cheez-It Chicken, and Chocolate Covered Peanut
Butter Balls
(made with Nutter Butters...thanks Joanna for introducing me to this one!)


Jennifer said...

Uh, YUM?!? Next time you're in NY feel free to come over and make some enchiladas para todos ;)

Janis said...

I need you to come make this for me because I don't want to get my lazy ars up from the couch. Couch enchalada ;^)

p.s. I love all the photos and buzz around your clothing!

Jennifer said...

I'll be there in February! It's a date :)
Godd#%^ Blogger though - imported the written portion of this and Blogger made it all funky.
Ah, well off to my godson's Holiday pagent.
Will fix the text later...
It is a really tasty dish.

Tina said...

interesting that the 4th one down of the enchiladas in the pan has the feeling and light of one of your prints!

Jennifer said...

Janis, it's a date too :)
Thanks! Really want to get up to your area & have a visit in 2011!

Tina, so funny. Well, it is my photograph, and a lot of my prints are derived from my may have given me the theme for my Fall/Winter 2011 collection "The Hot Enchilada Print." ;)
Happy Holidays & New Year!

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha! I am about to whip up another batch of Nutter Butter balls over here!

You turned it out with those enchiladas! I make a veggie version that is also incredibly fattening and filled with guilt. ; )

Happy Holidays! xoxo

Jennifer said...

Joanna, love the Nutter Butter Balls.
I'd love to see your "bad" veggie enchilada recipe!!

Anne-Marie said...

Oh I love me some artichoke dip! Thanks or the recipe link. Happy Holidays!

Jennifer said...

Hey Jen, drop me a line before you come to town if you'd like to meet up for a drink or such!

Have a great time on your break from the interwebs, and a very Merry Christmas to you and Tomory and all your family.

Jocy said...

oh YUMMM. I will definitely try this.

Heather Taylor said...