Homemade Chicken Enchiladas

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Today, we are talking about enchiladas. It’s a delicious dish that might feel intimidating to make…until now. Sometimes I just need some comfort food, a little spice, and lots of cheese. If you feel the same way, this is your dish.

This recipe will have you making homemade enchilada sauce (that the chicken cooks in!) using only a small list of flavor packed ingredients. If you’re not a fan of chicken, you can easily sub it out for roasted veggies, black beans, or another type of meat.

Here we go! First, you saute some diced onions in a large pot. Then you add the jalapeno, garlic, and spices into the mix. Cue fragrant kitchen.

Chicken Enchiladas Step 1

Once that’s ready, add tomato sauce and water. You will then cook your chicken in this. For bigger chicken breasts, cut them in half before putting them into the sauce.

Homemade Chicken Enchilada Sauce

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the sauce and then strain the sauce. Squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Then shred the chicken, mix it together with the onion/spice mixture, cheeses, green chilies, cilantro and a little bit of the enchilada sauce.

Homemade Chicken Enchilada Filling

Almost done! Heat up the corn tortillas (two at a time works well in the microwave), and spoon the chicken mixture onto each one. I used corn tortillas but you can use flour if you’d like. Then roll it up, roll it uppp! Once you have enough to fill a baking dish, bake everything for a bit, then pour the remaining enchilada sauce over everything, top the dish off with more cheese, and bake it for a little while longer. Garnish with some fresh cilantro.

Voila! Face-plant worthy chicken enchiladas.

Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is adapted from Danelle over at Let’s Dish.

Chicken Enchiladas
 
Makes 1 9×13 casserole dish and about 2 cups of sauce.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 Teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8 oz.) Cans tomato sauce
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 1/2 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large or 3 medium-sized chicken breasts)
  • 1 1/4 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 Cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 4 oz. Can diced green chilies
  • 1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped + extra for garnish
  • 12 (6-inch) Soft corn or flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat canola oil over medium high.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes so that they are well coated and are beginning to soften. Then turn the heat down to medium and add the jalapeño and garlic. Cook for another few minutes.
  3. Next, stir in the chili powder, sugar, salt, and cumin. Cook for another minute or so and then add the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer for about 5 mins.
  4. Then add the chicken breasts in, cover, and bring the heat down to low. Cook for about 15-25 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. Tip: If they are really big pieces, cut them in half. Also, if you are replacing chicken with beans or vegetables, skip this step.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove chicken breasts from the sauce and then turn up the temp up to medium so the sauce can simmer and thicken a tad (about 5 mins.) Shred chicken into small pieces while waiting.
  6. Using a large, fine mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a medium size bowl. You can use a spoon to push down as much of the onion/garlic/jalapeño mixture as you can. Once you have squeezed as much sauce out as possible, put the onion mixture into a large mixing bowl, and season with some salt and pepper.
  7. Then add the shredded chicken to the onion mixture plus 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, the diced green chilies, 1/2 cup of the jack cheese, 1/2 cup of the cheddar and 1/4 cup enchilada sauce.
Assembling the enchiladas
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and coat the bottom of a 9×13 dish with a light layer of cooking spray.
  2. Warm up the corn tortillas 2 at a time for about 20-30 seconds with a damp paper towel draped over them to keep them soft.
  3. Spoon just a little over 1/3 cup of the chicken mix in a line on one tortilla and roll up tightly. Place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling (I was able to line 10 tortillas in a row and then placed 2 length wise in the baking dish).
  4. Lightly brush the tops of the rolled tortillas with vegetable oil.
  5. Bake the dish for about 6-8 minutes or until the tops of the tortillas start to brown a little.
  6. Then take the dish out of the oven and lower the temp to 400 degrees F.
  7. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with the rest of the two cheeses (3/4 cup each).
  8. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 mins or until the meat is heated through.
  9. Then remove the aluminum foil and cook for about 5-7 minutes so the cheese can brown a bit.
  10. Last step! Remove from oven and let stand for about 10 minutes. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and then serve.

 

I was excited to get the opportunity to work with Kraft and create a recipe using their cheeses. I’m always overly eager to consume any and all types of cheese so this project was perfect.

I decided to make this tart because I love the combination of flavors and texture. It’s creamy, sweet, and slightly salty with a flaky crust. The trick to this dish is to get your onions fully caramelized and then to add tons of cheese! It makes a great appetizer for a party, a delicious snack, or a fun addition to a weeknight dinner. All you need is a sheet of puff pastry, some olive oil, red pepper flakes, a sheet of puff pastry, onions (plus some butter), arugula, and 3 types of cheese: mozzarella, goat, and parmesan.

I recommend making this recipe in 2 parts: 1) Caramelize the onions the night before and then 2) Assemble and bake the tart the next day. It takes about an hour to get your onions caramelized, which seems like a long time but it’s well worth it. Once you achieve that deep, sweet taste, you know you’ve got yourself some perfectly caramelized onions. This is probably the longest part. Also, I only ended up using about 3/4 of the caramelized onions on the tart so I got to save some to use in other dishes! Score. 

The rest is easy. You simply roll out the dough, add the toppings and then bake away.

Once the tart is fully baked, top everything off with some arugula. Now, I LOVE arugula and it pairs sooo well with this tart but you don’t need it. The tart is delicious on its own so if you’re not a fan of that particular green leaf, leave it out. No harm, no foul.

But since I’m a big fan of arugula, I added a ton :) What’s also wonderful about this recipe is that it can be easily doubled or tripled for big parties. You already have extra cheese, puff pastry packs come with at least two sheets, and you can just pick up a few more onions. Voila! 

 

Three Cheese Caramelized Onion Tart with Arugula Recipe

  • 2 Medium yellow onions, sliced thinly 
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 Puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil – drizzle then brush
  • 1/8 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to your liking)
  • 1/2 Cup Kraft mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Kraft parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Cup goat cheese
  • Arugula

To caramelize the onions

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the sliced onions and stir until the onions are all coated evenly with the butter and softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Then continue to let the onions cook for another 40-50 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. You don’t want to stir them too much or else they won’t brown properly–just enough so that they don’t burn and stick to the pan. Depending on how hot your stove is you also might have to turn down the heat.
  4. Once the onions start turning a deeper brown and are almost done (about 50-55 minutes), add about 1/4 cup water to deglaze the pan and then cook for another 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and salt the onions to taste.  

To assemble the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the puff pastry until it is about 13×10 inches. 
  3. Fold in each side about 1 inch to form a crust and then place the puff pastry on the baking sheet.  
  4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the entire puff pastry (crust part too) and then brush it so that it spreads evenly. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  5. Spread an even layer of Kraft mozzarella cheese on main part of the tart. Then do the same with the goat cheese. 
  6. Add a solid layer of caramelized onions over the top of the cheeses (this was about 3/4 of the onions I ended up caramelizing) and then top the tart off with an even sprinkle of Kraft parmesan cheese. 
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is cooked through and the edges are golden brown. 
  8. Let cool slightly and then top with arugula. 
  9. Cut into pieces and serve immediately. 

From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sausage Apple and Sage Stuffing

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! And I can’t wait. It’s my favorite holiday by far…you don’t have to stress about getting people gifts, friends and families get to spend quality time together, and then you just eat and eat and eat until you want to pass out and nap. Who could ask for more?

Sage Apple Sausage Stuffing

One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is stuffing. I guess it’s technically called dressing if you don’t cook it inside the turkey…but that sounds like salad dressing and it’s confusing, right? So let’s stick to calling it “stuffing” even though it’s baked in a casserole dish.

This stuffing is sourdough heaven. It has a slight apple tang, a hearty flavor from the sausage, and then a heavy  drizzle of browned butter and fried sage.

Can we talk about combining browned butter and sage for a minute? It produces the most amazing aroma ever. If you’ve never tried this, do it…you won’t regret it.

Sausage Stuffing with Apples and Sage

This recipe will make enough to feed 8-10 people. You pack it down into a 9×13 inch casserole dish and then bake it until the top is nice and crispy. It’s also really easy to make! The hardest part is slicing the bread into 1 inch cubes (why don’t I have a sharper bread knife for this?!).

The apple/sausage/sage combo is a fantastic alternative to your traditional stuffing recipe. Plus, if you’re not cooking for a big group, leftovers tastes just as delicious when heated up the next day!

Stuffing with Sausage Apple and Sage

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? 6 more days until Thanksgiving! :)

Sausage, Apple, and Sage Stuffing
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Loaf of sourdough bread
  • 1 Lb sausage, removed from casing, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 Green apples, peeled and diced into 1/2-1 in cubes
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 4 Stalks of celery, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 Heaping tablespoon of fresh sage, minced (about 8-10 leaves)
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 1 Can of chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. The Night before: Cut bread into 1 inch cubes the night before and leave in bowl to dry out.*
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet (spread evenly) and bake for 5-10 mins to dry out the bread.
  4. In a large skillet, melt 5 tbs of the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chopped celery, onions, and apples and cook until the apples and celery are softened (about 10 mins).
  5. In a very large bowl, combine the apple/celery/onion mixture, the bread cubes, and the sausage together.
  6. Using the same pan that you cooked the celery in, melt the remaining 3 tbs butter over medium high heat. Add the minced sage.
  7. Swirl the pan so that the butter doesn’t burn but keep cooking it until you start to see brown bits and the butter is golden brown–you must watch this carefully as browned butter can turn into burnt butter quickly!
  8. Drizzle the sage/brown butter combo over the stuffing and stir to incorporate.
  9. Mix in the chicken broth a little at a time until the stuffing is nice and moist.
  10. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and some pepper to taste.
  11. Pour everything into a lightly buttered 9×13 casserole dish. Push down the mixture lightly to condense it a little bit.
  12. Pop into the oven for 30-40 or until the stuffing is heated through and the top is crispy.

Notes
*If you don’t have time to dry out the bread cube the night before, just toast the cubes a little longer in the oven.

 

 

Thomas Keller's Roasted Chicken Recipe

I officially completed my first half marathon two Sundays ago! It was really hard and I am just starting to feel normal again but it was definitely worth it. The course for the U.S. Half is stunning. You run from Fort Mason in the Marina to the Golden Gate Bridge and then back, with a loop in the Presidio and one giant hill on the other side of the bridge (plus many other hills before that).

I ran the race with 3 of my friends and a few work friends. Another group of friends even came to cheer us on and they made me this sign below!

Steph Half Marathon Sign

It was a complete surprise and I love that they used the blog haha. It was so awesome to see them standing at mile 12, right before the last big hill, and I’m so excited to cross the long 13.1 run off my list!!!

But let’s talk chicken. This past weekend, I roasted a chicken. Yes, Thanksgiving is coming up so I should be focused on turkey but roasting a chicken is essential! It’s so versatile and super affordable. Thomas Keller is an amazing chef, so when I saw his recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. And guys, I am talking about one of the most SIMPLE recipes I have ever read. As in 3 ingredients: A chicken, salt, and pepper. Fresh thyme is optional but encouraged.

Keller’s trick is to keep it minimal to prevent extra ingredients from causing excess steam which can result in soggy skin. He also suggests getting an organic, free-range chicken for a better overall flavor.

The most time consuming aspect of this recipe was letting the chicken sit on the counter so that it could get to room temperature. EASY PEASY. And then after about 50 minutes in the oven, you will have yourself a delicious whole roasted chicken with crunchy skin.

Also, there are two things you’ll need for this recipe: A roasting pan and some twine.

I didn’t have a roasting pan, so I sort of MacGyver-ed one. I placed an oven-safe cookie cooling rack in a baking pan. The middle of the cookie rack didn’t really have any support so I used a ball of aluminum foil to give it some support. Guys, if I can do it, you can do it! But if you already have a roasting pan, use that–it will be much easier! :)

Pan

So yes, let’s roast a chicken!

Wash your chicken carefully (or don’t–there is a huge debate about whether to or not) and then pat it (REALLY PAT IT) dry with paper towels. Let it sit on the counter for 45 minutes so that it can get to room temperature. Then give it another paper towel pat to make sure it’s as dry as possible.

Generously sprinkle the cavity with salt and a little bit of pepper, and then truss the chicken with twine.

Roasted Chicken

Generously sprinkle the outside of the bird with salt (about a tablespoon!) and lightly with pepper. Top of with some freshly chopped thyme and then pop it in the oven.

Let it cook, and once it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F, you’re chicken is done!

ONE caveat. Your oven needs to be pretty clean for this or else the dripping from the bird (and any stuff in your oven) will start creating smoke since you’re cooking it at 450 degrees. Unfortunately, this happened to me but the chicken was so delicious that I can definitely justify the slightly smokey room after the bird was done. If you’re oven is a little dirty, I suggest lowering the temp a bit and cooking it for a little longer.

Do you have a favorite way of roasting a chicken? I’d love to hear!

Thomas Keller's Roasted Chicken

This recipe is only slightly adapted from Thomas Keller’s original recipe.

Thomas Keller’s Classic Roasted Chicken
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 1 4-5 lb. chicken, free-range if possible
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, minced

Instructions
  1. Rinse the chicken carefully (or don’t–there is a huge debate on whether to do this or not) and pat it dry with paper towels.
  2. Let it sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to bring the chicken to room temperature. This allows the chicken to cook evenly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. Dry the chicken once more with some paper towels and then add a good sprinkle of salt and some pepper into the cavity.
  5. Truss the chicken (instructions linked above in the post).
  6. Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt (about 1 tablespoon), some pepper, and thyme.
  7. Put the chicken on a roasting rack and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. You can also tell if the chicken is ready if the juices run clear after you slice a big portion off of it.
  8. Remove the twine, carve it and then serve.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Sriracha Mac and Cheese Baked

Mac and cheese is quite possibly one of my favorite comfort foods. And hot sauce? Hot sauce is my best friend. This sriracha mac and cheese has it all.

For many of you, autumn has arrived and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. Leaves are probably turning all of those pretty fall colors. But in San Francisco? It’s summertime! For about 2-3 months out of the year, we get some warmth and sun in this foggy city. And even though I’m soaking it up while it lasts, I’m starting to crave those cold weather comfort foods. Ergo, sriracha mac and cheese.

Sriracha is added into the cheesy béchamel sauce and then extra hot suace is also drizzled on top right before serving. Spicy perfection!

Sriracha Bechamel for Mac and Cheese

I got this idea from my friend Cassie who is awesome at whipping up great meals. She invited a huge group of us over and made multiple batches of this good stuff. It was so delicious that I had to make some myself. The subtle sweetness from the green onions rounds out the spicy kick in the sauce. But I also threw in a diced jalapeño for good measure.

Spicy Sriracha Bechamel for Mac and Cheese

This recipe calls for whole wheat macaroni but that’s only because I predicted that I would be eating a lot of the dish myself (which I did!) and I didn’t want to feel THAT guilty. Of course, if you’re not a fan of whole wheat, regular macaroni will work perfectly.

Sriracha Mac and Cheese Recipe

Hot sauce. Cheese. Crispy bread crumb topping, More hot sauce. More cheese. Pasta.

I mean, what else is there to say? :) Happy Friday!

Sriracha Mac and Cheese

 

Sriracha Mac and Cheese
 
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 1 Lb whole wheat elbow macaroni (can use regular elbow macaroni if you’d like)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose flour
  • 4 Cups whole milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce (3 if you want it milder)
  • 1 Cup green onions, sliced
  • 3 Cups of shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (I got a 12oz bag and it was the perfect amount). Extra is always encouraged though :)
For the Bread Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 Cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
For Garnish
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • Sliced green onions

Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta about 1-2 minutes less according to the package (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a large pot melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and combine until it’s lightly bubbling and just starting to smell a little nutty.
  4. Whisk in the milk, 1 cup at a time, and turn the heat up to medium. Let the milk come to a simmer so that it can thicken up a bit. (A great way to tell if it’s thick enough is if it coats the back of a wooden spoon and it doesn’t run down the spoon).
  5. After the mixture has thickened, add the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, jalapeño, and sriracha. (Add more or less sriracha to your liking–remember you will also top off the dish with more sriracha!).
  6. Remove from heat and mix in 3 cups of cheese, 1 cup at a time. Then stir in the green onions.
  7. Put the pasta into a 9×13 in baking dish and then pour the cheese sauce over it. Incorporate everything together with a spoon.
  8. Mix the panko and plain bread crumbs together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then pour over the breadcrumbs. Mix well and then spread evenly across the top of the pasta and cheese.
  9. Place baking dish in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and the bread crumbs start to turn golden.
  10. Drizzle extra sriracha and sprinkle some green onions over each plate before serving.

 

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