Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas!

So preparing for baby... I've been trying to stock the freezer. Jason helped me make 8 Tater Tot Casseroles last weekend (half beef and half turkey) and Beef/Turkey Chili (18-2 cup servings.) They are in our deep freeze now, along with 50+ pounds of meat. I even cheated and bought a few things at Sams Club that are easy to whip together in a skillet or throw in the oven. Mom is hopefully going to make some lasagnas and black bean soup!
This weekend was supposed to be beef and chicken enchiladas. But oh my lord! We made 10 chicken enchilada casseroles and I was super swollen and tired and with a few other things to do, only got the chicken ones done. This week we're going to knock out the beef ones. I can brown the meat one night, and make the casseroles the next night.

Martha's Enchilada's
(I kept forgetting to take a picture of mine.)
The original recipe I went with was a really simple one from Ortega. I prefer the Ortega Mild Green Enchilada Sauce. It comes in 16 ounce jars and is available at Walmart for $1.98 or Schnucks for like $3.99 (It seemed like a LOT more expensive the one time I looked at Schnucks.)
Oretega Recipe for Quick & Easy Chicken Enchiladas:
2 cups cooked chicken
2 cans (10 ounce) Enchilada Sauce
1 cup cheese
1 can (4-ounce) green chilis
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 11x7-inch baking dish.
  • Spread 1/2-cup the enchilada sauce onto bottom of prepared baking dish. Combine chicken, 1/2-cup enchilada sauce, 1/2-cup cheese and chiles in medium bowl. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
That sounds great. If you're making a meal for one night.
Here's what I wound up with:
6.77 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts (cooked ~ 14 cups of chicken)
Jar of jalapenos, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Cilantro Bunch
8 pounds of Monterrey Jack Cheese (You can't find this shredded, thank heavens for food processors!)
8 - 16 ounce jars of green enchilada sauce + 2 - 10-ounce cans.
4 - 7 ounce cans of diced chilis
70 corn tortillas
Total = $57.59
Fancy Pants Gladware Container = $2/each
Total per casseroles = $7.76/each! And it's usually 2-3 servings depending on a level of hunger.
Since I really liked the Martha Stewart recipe for green enchiladas I made a few years back, I went a little that way, but still keeping it simple.  (You can see pictures of those here.)
Ortega doesn't suggest on how to cook the chicken. Pinterest will tell you to cook it in the crock pot with some chicken broth and then shred it with your paddle attachment on your kitchen aid mixer. Martha likes you to bake it... with some special seasonings.
I prepped the chicken by cutting each super large chicken breast  in half so they would cook quicker. I put 1/4 cup of lemon juice, lime juice, and jalapeno juice in a cup and brushed that on each piece of chicken breast. I salted and peppered each piece.
I chopped the cilantro and sprinkled that on the chicken.
I chopped 2-3 tablespoons of jalapenos and sprinkled those on the chicken breasts.
I baked the chicken for around 40 minutes at 375 F.
I let the chicken cool - over night. Cooling the chicken before adding the cheese is very important. I then chopped the chicken up into little pieces.
I used my food processor to shred the 8 pounds of cheese. I like the Monterey jack cheese, it's perfect flavor for green chicken enchiladas.
Since I haven't made these in such a large bulk before, I did it in small portions.
I combined:
4 cups of diced chicken (16 ounces)
2 cups of cheese (6 ounces)
1 - 16 ounce bottle of green sauce
1 - 7 ounce can of diced chilis
and used 18 corn tortillas.
This made 3 pans worth. I did that 3 times.
The fourth and final mixture was about 2 cups of chicken, 2 cups of cheese, a bottle of sauce, and can of chilis. I mixed this together and put it in a ziploc for freezing and making later. I was out of time, and had other places to be!
To make the enchilada casseroles:
If you are pregnant, SIT DOWN. Clear the kitchen table. DO IT.
Have your mixture ready, some extra sauce, and your husband heating up the corn tortillas between moist paper towels for 15 seconds.
I spread a little sauce on the bottom of the container (less than 1/3 cup).
Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture into a corn tortillas. Roll up. Place seam side down in container.
Repeat. A million times.
The casseroles aren't complete yet! Make sure to spread sauce & cheese on the top! We used 4 jars of salsa in the mixture, one jar to spread on the bottom of each pan, and had plenty of leftovers to spread over the top of each casserole. You'll want to make sure to spread enchilada sauce over the top of the casseroles, and add a handful or two of cheese!

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