Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas - AKA: What to Feed Hungry Teens

I know, I know, it's been too long! Life has been busy here with our oldest in the school production of Les Miserable (which finally ended this past weekend), weekly snowstorms, homework, baking cookies and to top it all off, I've been battling a cold for over a week now!

So this week we finally had to cross a bridge with our very soon to be 16 year old. She was asked to "hang out" by a young man who she met while working on the musical. New territory can often be hard to navigate and our cautious, somewhat conservative young lady wasn't sure how comfortable she was going to a boy's house (frankly, I KNEW I wasn't comfortable with it) so she invited him here along with a couple of her girl friends so she'd have a nice, comfortable group to keep it all on the DL.

So, at this very moment, I have a group of 6 young people aging from 12-17 in my family room loudly playing video games while I share with you.

Of course, I need to feed them. I did the June Cleaver thing and had a fresh batch of twisted chocolate chip cookies (there is only one cookie left on the plate) , still warm and melty, for them when they came in, but dinner was the big question. Or at least it was up until about 3pm as I was driving home from work and came up with what I believe to be the perfect solution. Of course I could have gone with hot dogs, burgers, spaghetti or something along those lines, but my kids are always bragging about my cooking "skills" and I thought I should make something that would please them but still be easy to make and serve so I could monitor what's going on in the family room from the relative safety of my kitchen. I kept circling around tacos, but it just wasn't workin for me. Finally, I started thinking about enchiladas and after contemplating making them with pork filling I decided to make chicken enchiladas instead since I already had chicken thighs in the freezer that I thought would work perfectly.

They're in the oven now, and they are just starting to fill the room with a lovley aroma!

Chicken Enchiladas

2.5 lbs chicken, poached and shredded
1/4 large onion, chopped
1 small can (2oz?) cohopped, green chilis
1 tbls ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried cilantro (more if you use fresh)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup queso quesadilla cheese
1 cup manchego cheese

1 large can (15oz) green chili enchilada sauce
tortillas, warmed

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Pour about 1/4 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix together chicken, onion, green chilis and spices. Add enough enchilada sauce to help it hold together and to keep mixture moist. Add 3/4 cup of each of the cheeses and mix well (Monterey Jack would be fine too). If it's a bit dry, add a bit more enchilada sauce.

Put about 2 forkfuls of filling on each tortilla, roll up tight and place seam side down in the baking dish. Continue until all filling has been used. Pour enchilada sauce over the center of the enchiladas, and pour any remaining sauce around the edges of the baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream or any other "taco" topping you like.

Makes 8-10 enchiladas depending on size of tortillas and how much filling you put in them.

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