For years I have been trying to perfect the chicken enchilada. To me, the perfect enchilada must be moist and creamy on the inside but not so much so that it makes the tortillas soggy. It must have the right amount of spice and not be too cheesy. I had pretty much given up hope on finding the perfect chicken enchilada, until one night a few weeks ago my friend and neighbor Tracy brought dinner to me. Chicken Enchiladas. I wasn't expecting much...however when I saw them there was a glimmer of hope...they look like what I have been envisioning in my head for a long time. Still I wasn't holding my breath. Then I took my first bite. They were mouthwatering, creamy perfect! The right amount of spice, I could taste the cumin, chilies and tomatoes all bundled up in amazing sauce. These were the chicken enchiladas I've been waiting my whole life to find! Tracy is a cooking goddess. She never uses a cookbook and she never measures a thing. She tells me put 'a lot of this, a little of that...' from that I figure out the recipe. We make a good team - AND when she is old and senile at least I will have written down a few of her recipes to pass along to her children.
4 boneless skinless chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1 diced onion
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 - 2 TBL cumin
1/2 TBL garlic salt
1 can of Hatch tomatoes/green chilies (if you can't find this use rotel)
1 can chopped green chilies
1 block of cream cheese
Hatch Green Chili Sauce
12 flour or corn tortillas (you pick your favorite - I prefer this recipe with flour even though I normally like corn better!)
Monterey Jack Cheese
Boil chicken breast and onion together for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken is very tender and shreds easily.
Remove chicken and onions from water - shred chicken. Reserve 1/2 cup of broth. (I don’t like to waste homemade chicken broth so I freeze leftover broth 1 cup increments in plastic bags.)
In a large pot combine the first 8 ingredients (through cream cheese), letting the cream cheese melt everything into a creamy goodness (you may need to do this over low heat):
Stuff tortillias with chicken mixture and roll seam side down:
If there are leftover juices from the chicken mixture pour them on top of the rolled enchiladas.
Pour Hatch green chilie sauce (yes, out of the can!) over the rolled enchiladas. Top with 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minute or until cheese is completely melted and bubbling.
Top with cilantro, tomatoes, sour cream.....and devour!
Growing up one of my favorite meals was chicken and dumplings. My mom made the BEST chicken and dumplings, WITHOUT a recipe. This is as close as I can get to my mom's Chicken and Dumpling:
Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings
1 3-pound chicken
2 quarts of water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBL shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil chicken in 2 quarts of water. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, our till tender and chicken is easily coming off the bone. Remove chicken from broth to cool, de-bone chicken and cut or shred into bite size pieces. Put chicken back in the broth, and bring broth to a boil.
While waiting for broth to boil, combine flour, baking soda & salt. Cut in the shortening. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until moistened. Knead the dough 4 or 5 times then flatten till about 1/2 inch thick. Pinch off dough into 1 1/2-inch pieces and drop into boiling broth. Reduce to medium heat and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
***On a side note, my sister said my mom always adds milk to her broth once everything is ready to go...I haven't done this yet, but I am willing to give it a try next time. I'll let you all know how it turns out. Oh, and sometimes I add a little chicken base to my soup, just to give the broth a little boost.