Hello again and welcome to another chapter in quick and easy bachelor cooking!
Occasionally, I find myself in the kitchen hunting for sustenance. When this happens, cooking of some sort is required, so I had to figure some stuff out. Lots of people have recipes for some form of chicken enchiladas but for me, they’re all too rich, too heavy. They tend to rely on a heavy cream sauce of some kind, which is fine, but just too much for me. So I started experimenting.
One of the things I wanted to do was make my version as quick and easy as possible so it doesn’t take a ton of work nor does it take a long time to cook. Here’s what I came up with:
First up, ingredients:
You’ll notice in the photo that I’ve got all sorts of stuff. Stuff is good. Comes in handy when you’re looking to do a little cooking. Specifically though, what I’ve got here is:
- Can of enchilada sauce (large)
- Can of southwestern style tomatoes – 14 oz.
- Can of veggie refried beans (because they taste better) (large)
- Standard box 0’rice, Spanish style in this case
- 2 blocks of white queso
- 1 package burrito sized flour tortillas
- 1 container of ‘fresh’ salsa
- 1 package (2 cups) of shredded mexican cheese (not pictured above)
- 1 whole, roasted chicken from the deli at the local grocery store
You will also need, for my particular recipe:
- A pan to cook the rice in (with a lid)
- A pot to cook the beans in
- A bowl for the shredded chicken
- A microwave safe bowl for the queso (if you bought the block like I did)
- A glass pan to cook the enchiladas in (glass is better when you’re cooking with a tomato sauce because its acidic, and acid + metal = battery – who wants to eat a battery!?)
So, let’s get started.
First thing I do is turn on the oven, set it for 375. Next, take the chicken out of the package, put it on a plate and then pull the meat off the bone, shredding it as you go. I place the meat in a separate bowl.
If you’re so inclined, you can also pull the dark meat off and add it in. All in all, this only takes a couple of minutes and yields enough meat for about 4 enchiladas.
Now, of all the stuff I’ve listed above, believe it or not, the rice takes the longest to cook, so I suggest you start that now. The one I bought, you have to brown the rice, then add water, bring it to boil and then let it simmer for 20 minutes – all of that takes time, so you might as well start it. Incidentally, this is also where you’ll use your tomatoes.
I just follow the instructions on the box: Brown rice in a pan with some margarine or butter:
Once it’s brown, add the spice packet and some water:
Next, add in your 14 oz can of tomatoes:
Get that to boil, then simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Watch it because you don’t want all the moisture to boil away and leave you with a mushy mess. While that’s simmering, move onto the next step which is, in this case, melting your queso. I’ve bought different kinds of queso before, but this one was pretty cool – you take the block, put it in a microwave safe bowl with some milk, then heat and stir, heat and stir, until it gets nice and creamy. To make this easier, I broke up the block in the bowl so it wasn’t one giant block o’cheese.
At this point, if I were you, I’d also put the refried beans in a pot on low heat so they can start cooking.
Okay, so, cheese all melted? It took me about ten minutes of cook for a bit, open, stir, repeat before mine was all creamy. If yours is ready, then it’s time to start building your enchiladas.
Heat up your tortillas. You can do this over dry heat (like a pan on the stove) or pop em in the microwave for a short time, like 30 seconds on high or something – you just want them loose enough to work with not burnt. While they’re heating up, open up your can of sauce and pour about half into the glass pan.
When you’re tortillas are ready, take one and put it on a plate, then add your chicken like so:
Next, take some of that creamy queso and use a spoon to spread some over the chicken:
Next, open up that fresh salsa and use a spoon to put some of that good tomoato, pepper and onion on top of the chicken and cheese:
Top that with some shredded cheese:
Next, wrap it like a burrito and place it seam side down in the pan:
Repeat until your pan is full:
Now make it pretty – take the remaining enchilada sauce and cover the enchiladas in the pan – make sure you get all the nooks and crannies because those areas will get hard in teh oven if they aren’t covered. Then, I like to drizzile a little more of the queso on top of that (usually not a whole lot left by this point but in this case, I actually had way too much left over so I started using it like mad):
Lastly, add the shredded cheese and some more of the fresh salsa:
Go ahead and pop that into the oven. Watch it, you really only need for the sauce to be hot and bubbly and the cheese to be melted.
If everything is timed well enough, your rice, beans and enchiladas will all be done around the same time so all you’ll have to do is plate and enjoy:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little forray into bachelor cooking. Give it a try and see how it works for you. 🙂