Ready for another chicken recipe?
Going back through some of my posts, I do see a tendency towards chicken in our home.
It’s probably because it is so versatile and easy to work with.
And every one of my kids like it, which tends to leave me with a better attitude to feeding
them from time to time if they aren’t complaining or picking out bits.
I will aim to cook something tasty next week with pork or beef.
So, this week’s dinner feature is Chicken Enchiladas.
I was blessed by a friend years ago with a meal that my whole family devoured,
so I quickly asked her for the recipe.
So, this recipe is compliments of Wendy Vanderlaan and can be found here. Chicken Enchiladas
Now that I’m putting more time in at Schinkels’, I’m finding that our
schedules are getting a little tighter. When 5 of us all work until 6:00,
it’s not quite fair just yet to expect our 11-year-old to make dinner.
He’s capable of grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese from a box,
and we are still working on spaghetti. So, at least not every 6:00 work night.
When I do my menu plan and grocery list on Mondays,
it takes a bit more planning and creativity to get things
lined up to make family dinner time happen.
We have always made this a priority in our home.
I can’t even begin to express how valuable it has been over the years of
crazy busy, babies, jobs, and after-school stuff,
to be blessed enough to almost every night sit down with everyone
and re-group, re-connect and re-focus on the most precious things – each other.
Notice that Sunday and Tuesday are blank? Those are Greg’s cooking days :)
It was a bit of a stretch, in the beginning, to even get used to a 6:00 dinner time.
I was brought up with family dinners around 5:00, which left plenty of time after dinner
for homework, play, or TV.
With the store open to 6:00, that has Greg arriving home at 6:10.
By the time dinner runs down, it’s after 7:00,
which starts the bedtime routines almost as soon as the dishes are done.
Took some time to get used to, but we figured out routines that had
snacks, homework, and playtime done before dinner.
Now, we are looking some nights where all the chefs arrive home at 6:10,
so having something ready to just re-heat, or in a crockpot will become our new norm.
I do have an oven that lets me program a start time.
This means I can just leave a casserole in the oven on my lunch break
and set it to start cooking before we arrive home,
so that makes our dinner planning a bit easier as well.
I’m pretty sure many of you will relate,
and if you have tricks or recipes you’d like to share with us
to make this transition easier, please share in the comments below.
Any and all help will be appreciated.
Anyway, I digress. ( I do that in real life conversations, too.)
Ok. Started with boneless chicken breast.
Mainly because that’s what’s in my freezer this week,
but boneless thighs would have worked.
They are often available at the store, fresh on the weekends and frozen the rest of the week.
If you like dark meat, definitely try thighs.
Chopped up some onions and fried them all together until the chicken was cooked through.
Then I threw in a can of Green Chilies and chili powder and mixed that in, then removed everything from heat.
Super Sneaky Mom Hat
The recipe Wendy gave me had me mixing a
can of cream of chicken soup with a cup of sour cream, so I did that,
and added about half of it to the chicken mixture,
but then, I pulled out my “Super Sneaky Mom” hat and also added some puréed cauliflower.
Yes, I’m that evil.
My kids have been horrid lately at including the many
available fruits and vegetables into their independent meals
(such as the breakfasts and lunches they make unsupervised),
so I’ve had to revert to my toddler mom tricks to sneak healthy into their suppers.
To be honest, I knew it was in there, and I didn’t even notice,
so that’s the magic of cauliflower.
Also added about a cup of shredded old cheddar, and mixed it all up together.
Variety for the non-picky families
You creative types with non-picky children could also add some
sautéd peppers, mushrooms, corn, black beans, whatever you like to this.
I, sadly, can not, and must stick to the recipe.
Next, I divided it all up into the centres of whole wheat tortilla wraps
( Yup, I still had my “Super Sneaky Mom” hat on. )
and rolled them up, folding the edges in to keep the “guts” in and
lined them up into a greased casserole dish.
So, I actually only managed to spread it out into 9 wraps,
but that’s probably because I wasn’t allowed the creative ability
to add sautéd peppers, mushrooms or corn.
You’ll probably get 10, no problem.
Remember there was still some sauce left?
Yup, pour that over top, try to cover every bit of wrap.
If you leave any part exposed, it tends to dry out as it bakes.
I also tend to fill the sides with salsa, which helps keep everything moist as it
bakes (covered) at 375°F for 40 minutes.
Tricks of the Trade
Now, some of you may be wondering,
“Wait, what about the cheese? I still have a cup of cheese sitting here.”
This is my new favourite trick for casseroles.
I found over the years, that if you put the cheese on right away,
it tends to either bond with the foil wrap if covered,
or bake into tasteless crust if not covered.
My fix for that is to cook the casserole as indicated in the recipe
minus 10 minutes, then add the cheese for the
remaining 10 minutes uncovered to the melt and sizzle stage.
Once again, as the casserole came out of the oven to a group of
hungry Schinkels’ staff, I did not get a picture of the whole casserole.
But I did manage to snap one before seconds were dished out,
and was also able to capture the opinion of my oldest boy-child.
We served it up with more sour cream and salsa.
This dish also does warm up well the next day in lunches,
but, alas, that was not to be this time as it was consumed in it’s entirety.
Another job well done by Super Sneaky Mom.