Wednesday, March 18, 2009
THE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN MIRACLE
It SEEMED like a typical day..Don't remember why I was running behind...I suppose just a lot of errands....By the time I got to the store it was late afternoon. I didn't want dinner at 10PM, but at this rate if I tried to cook the chicken myself, it was going to be too late..
I decided to buy a Rotisserie Chicken, to save time on whatever I decided that I would do for that night...
AH, THE MIRACULOUS ALREADY PREPARED ROTISSERIE CHICKEN....THE ANSWER TO SO MANY PROBLEMS, THE HEART OF SO MANY "HOME COOKED" DISHES..
When I got home, I started taking the meat off the delicious smelling chicken, dividing the white meat from the dark, and picking off every morsel of meat...I found that there was quite a lot of breast meat, especially after I tore it into shredded pieces..
About this time, I realized what it was that I was going to attempt, even though if you read my blog, I had proclaimed in "For the Love Of Enchiladas", that I had "thrown in the towel" when it came to Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas...
As I mentioned in that entry, you really must live in Texas to get what we call the REAL DEAL when it comes to "Tex-Mex"..It is seriously the BEST variety of Mexican Food not only to me, but any of us that live here..
I have always LOVED really good sour cream chicken enchiladas, with melted white cheese, a tart and delicate sour cream sauce topping, along with a garnish of jalapeno...
This craving and search for a recipe to make at home, was based on a couple of places that have the BEST ones that I have ever had.
Over the years I had tried literally 12 or 15 different recipes, some contained cans of cream of chicken soup (which I am NOT a fan of), and some with sour cream that "topped" the enchiladas after they were cooked, (nope, that wasn't it..,)and sauces with a green tomatillo and sour cream base, and even one that called for whipping cream and swiss cheese...None of these were bad, it's just that none of them were RIGHT....
I gave up and realized that eating them out, and at only a few places, was my destiny, and I tried my best to get on with my life....(though it was not always easy...And if you have gotten to know my personality at all, then you realize that NOT BEING ABLE TO FIGURE SOMETHING OUT is a bit frustrating for a girl like me...)
As you know, I am not a fan of begging, so I had even quit trying to obtain the correct sour cream sauce from the restaurants...
I know that stranger things have happened, but very soon after I wrote the enchilada blog, I started looking in some very old recipe folders, and found one recipe that I had saved, yet curiously had never tried...
I looked it over carefully...I liked the sauce, but it was not quite right...It needed something...hmmmmm...The actual chicken in the tortillas went without seasoning, which was NOT RIGHT, as the great ones always have a red hue to them, and are spicy...
With a little creative problem solving, I recreated the recipe, incorporating some of the sauce ingredients and measurements with great success..
I KNEW when I was cooking it that I had actually after YEARS, finally come up with it...I didn't say anything to my son, who was playing his video games, asking, "WHEN IS DINNER READY? WHAT ARE WE HAVING?"
When he sat down to dinner, and dug into his first bite, he was silenced...I puttered about a little bit in the kitchen getting my plate ready, and about 5 seconds passed, when I heard "MOM, THESE ARE THE BEST ENCHILADAS THAT I HAVE EVER HAD...MOM...THESE ARE RIGHTOUS...MOM..THESE ARE SO GOOD... and on and on...Yes, I had finally FOUND THE RIGHT ONES!!!!!!!!!!"
THE BEST SOUR CREAM CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Serves 4-6 in YOUR HOUSE... depending on side dishes served...I recommend Mexican Rice for sure...
Does not serve as much when teenage boys are present
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
10 3/4 ounces chicken broth undiluted, with a small bit of fresh lemon juice added
3/4 cup water
8 ounces sour cream (not lite)
2 large or 3 small canned whole jalapeno peppers (seeded and chopped)..I DID NOT seed them because mine were not very hot...You decide..
10-12 corn tortillas
2 1/2 cups chicken breast meat, shredded with your hands, no really large chunks, but not "ground"..just shredded pieces that will lay nicely in the tortillas
2-3 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3/4 cup chopped onion
Additional sliced canned jalapeno for garnish (optional)
SPICES FOR CHICKEN
It is difficult for me to tell you exactly how much of the following spices to use, as it is so dependent on one's tolerance for spicy...You decide...Spice then taste to adjust...I am a spicy kind of girl, so I did not go lightly, but tasted as I went
Good Chili Powder..( I like Gebbardt )
A pinch of Oregano
Take the shredded chicken breast meat and mix it with the spices above..Mix it with your hands so that all the spices are rubbed into the chicken..Your chicken should be spicy and have a red color...Taste, and set aside..
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat;add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook one minute, stirring constantly.(This is certainly one of those stand at the stove recipes)
Gradually add chicken broth and water; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly (this will take a few minutes on medium heat..don't rush it...)
When it is thickened put a couple of Tablespoon of it into your sour cream first, then stir all of your sour cream mixture back into the saucepan, along with the chopped peppers. Take it off the heat...
Pour about half of the sour cream sauce into a lightly greased 12x8x2 inch baking dish, spreading it out to make sure that it covers the entire bottom of the dish, and set aside dish and remaining sour cream sauce.
Take about 3 or 4 tortillas at a time, and enclose them, stacked, between moistened paper towels on a paper plate for about 20 seconds or so in the microwave on high...When they come out, they should be HOT and pliable.
Fill them with at least a Tablespoon of the chicken, a little onion, and a little cheese. Roll up and place in the baking dish, seam side down, side by side...Repeat with the remaining tortillas until all are filled. You may end up with 9 tortillas or 12, depending on how much filling that you want to use in each one...I ended up with about 9, I think...
When you have filled them all and they're all in the baking dish, cover them with the rest of the sour cream sauce.
Bake, uncovered, at 425 for about 20 minutes, maybe a bit longer..watch closely..
Remove them from the oven, and scatter the rest of the cheese and any leftover onion on top...( you should have at least 1 1/4 cups of cheese, if you don't, grate some more...)
Top with some of the jalapeno slices, if you wish, or you can sprinkle them over the enchiladas after they are cooked..(again...optional, but I love them)
Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted and gooey...
Notes: I cannot help but think that they would be even MORE delicious made with homemade chicken broth...(I'm sure of it, and if I did, I would probably use a bit more chicken broth, and less water...)
I did the tortillas in the microwave instead of dipping them in hot oil, so that it was somewhat of a lower fat recipe..It worked...
I added a bit of fresh lemon juice to the chicken broth, because the BEST versions appear to have a slightly tart taste, but not overwhelming, so I added this, and I think that it worked well..
I DO hope that you will try these, as they completely and absolutely ROCK!
Oh, and I PROMISE THAT THE NEXT POST WILL NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH CHICKEN!!!!