Friday, June 20, 2014


I would like to share a wonderful recipe for chicken enchiladas given to me by a dear friend in Colorado.  My friend worked in a restaurant so this recipe has been modified for home use so it is not a typical recipe.  I recently made these and ended up with a pan to share (5 enchiladas to a round aluminum container) the ones in the photo above and I have three containers in my freezer as well as (3) jars of sauce so the next time I want to make these I will have the sauce pre-made. I promise you these are yummy! Sauce also good on chicken tamales.
I also served Vermicelli Nests with Onions & Tomatoes
(Sopa seca de fideos) with the enchiladas. Recipe new to me, with the exception of homemade chicken stock, this is so easy and so good. 

Rounding out the dinner was my version of Cowboy Salsa, sometimes known as Cowboy Caviar. So instead of enchiladas, rice and beans, we had enchiladas, bean salad and pasta.


Chicken Enchaladas
4 large bone-in chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, minced
5-7 cups shredded sharp cheddar - Sharp Tillamook
1.5 cups light sour cream
10 fresh basil leaves (I chop very fine with a mezzaluna)
3 T ground cumin
3 T better than bouillon (or substitute)
Sea Salt & pepper to taste (during the sauce phase, do not salt the boiling chicken)
3 T green chili powder
1/2 T red chili powder*, 1 t cayenne
4 bay leaves
2-3 T Green Tabasco Sauce
1 cube butter
1.5 cups Wondra

Tortillas - either corn or flour, personal preference, I use corn - wrap them in a kitchen towel and heat  in microwave to soften them.

In large pot boil chicken and garlic, onion, basil, cumin, pepper powder, pepper for 1.5 hours.  Remove chicken from the bone (reserve the liquid for sauce), discard skin and either dice into chunks or shred the chicken and then mix chicken with 3 - cups cheese & sour cream.

For sauce: Add 3 cups cheese to the boiling liquid, in another pan melt the butter and then add the flour (to make a roux) and cook for a few minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.  Slowly add the roux to the sauce liquid and cheese and cook until the desired consistency is achieved. NOTE: 1 1/2 cups flour way too much to add to one cube of butter for the roux so I use enough flour to make the roux and then take some of the sauce in a bowl, add the rest of the flour and gradually add to the sauce. This looks like a lot of butter and a lot of flour but remember you are making a ton of sauce and will have leftover sauce so it really is not so much when you consider how many servings you get out of a batch.

Because there are not exact amounts of water to add to this when you are done and the sauce made it may be too thin or too thick - if too thick add some chicken stock or broth if too thin just let it reduce down before assembling the enchiladas.  This is also the time to taste and see if you need more salt, or seasonings. The highlighted areas are where I made changes to the original recipe.

To assemble the enchiladas put some of the thickened sauce in the bottom of a Pyrex casserole dish and then fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture until you fill the casserole, cover with sauce and then sprinkle with cheese. You will note I don't put much cheese on the top of these - the sauce is so good they do not need a lot of cheese - again, personal preference.

*For years I used Grandma's chili powder (Grandma's Spanish Pepper) made in Sacramento, CA, then the company was sold and now no longer available. Williams chili powder closely resembles Grandma's.  

Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes

NOTE: The recipe as give to me did not have green chili powder, it had chili powder and cayenne powder.  You may use any powder you like but I happen to love the taste of the green chili powder.  It can be hard to find but it is available online, Amazon, etc.  The one I like best is from the Santa Fe School of Cooking in Santa Fe, NM. My hubby and I took a class there once and I bought some of the green chili powder and was hooked.  I will put a link below.

Vermicelli Nests with Onions & Tomatoes
(Sopa seca de fideos)

1/2 Pound vermicelli or angel hair nests - no substitution
2 large tomatoes, peeled and small dice (do not need to seed)
1 medium sweet onion, small dice
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 cups homemade stock

Put 1/2 of the oil in a medium fry pan, brown the nests on both sides (be careful not to burn) you want them toasty brown not dark brown, remove from the fry pan and set aside. Add the remainder of the oil to the pan and cook the onion and chopped tomato until the onion is translucent.  Add the chicken stock and the browned vermicelli nests, put the lid on the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed about 20-30 minutes.  Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you like. Enough for (4).

NOTE: This is a good substitute for rice with Mexican food but needs the homemade stock.

 Chicken Stock
Use leftover bones and skin from cooked or raw chicken, I tend to save my Costco roasted chicken carcass and other leftover chicken in a bag in the freezer and when you have enough in the bag make some stock.

For Stock
Put the leftover bones and skin from a chicken carcass into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add veggies like celery, onion, carrots, parsley. Add salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.
Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer. Simmer uncovered at least 4 hours, occasionally skimming off the foam that comes to the surface.
Remove the bones and strain the stock, I line a big colander with cheese cloth so there is no need to strain more than once. I freeze any stock that I am not going to use immediately after the stock cools, I like to use wide-mouth canning jars and I also save things like glass spaghetti jars, etc. that may be used.
Cowboy Salsa
1 can of corn
1 can of either kidney or black beans
2 cans of pintos
6 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion diced
2 avacados, small dice
1/3 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Dressing:  vinaigrette 
3/4 t sea salt
3 T apple cider or sherry vinegar
1 1/2 t Edmond Fallot Dijon mustard (or your favorite)
9 T olive oil
3 pkg sweet n' low or sugar - personal preference

Drain and rinse the beans in a colander, then add the corn and let it drain. Place the corn/bean mixture in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and gently fold all together, add a little salt and pepper and then the vinaigrette, gently toss again. Place in a serving bowl and put in the fridge for the flavors to meld for an hour or two.

This can either be a side dish or served with tortilla chips as an appetizer.



Enchaladas, my dear Cinderella
Sopa seca de fideos, Simply Recipes, Link
Cowboy Salsa, from me!
Labels, Martha Stewart at Staples, free template on Avery website
Canning jars, Ball wide mouth 24oz
Santa Fe School of Cooking Green Chili Powder, Link

Thank you for stopping by.



  2. Better for you if you make them! Thank you for your comment.