Chicken Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

Hands down my chicken enchiladas are a huge crowd favorite. When I take it to pot lucks, I bring back a clean dish every time!

These enchiladas are filled with flavorful finely shredded chicken and topped with a delicious ranchero sauce + lots of Monterrey jack cheese. The cheese melts to perfection and is the best part. I like to top these with a little bit of crema before serving!

This recipe serves big portions, I think I made about 34 enchiladas with 2 lbs of chicken. It really goes along way! If you want to stuff a little more chicken into each tortilla you can definitely make about 2 dozen with my measurements. I was taking these to a large crowd today so I was trying to make the chicken stretch as much as possible!

If you try out this recipe, it will surely be a crowd favorite for your friends or family too! Hope you enjoy!

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Ingredients

For the Chicken Filling

- 2 lbs boneless skinless 
  chicken breasts
- 2-3 tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3-5 cups of Water
- 1 1/2 tbs Caldo de tomate
- salt and pepper to taste

For the Ranchero Sauce

- 5 Tomatoes
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 jalapeños
- 35 ounces ounces chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tbs Caldo de tomate
- 4 garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika

For the Enchiladas

- 24-35 corn tortillas
- 30 ounces Monterrey Jack 
  cheese
- cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

In a large pot submerge the chicken breasts in water, add in the chopped tomatoes, bell pepper & seasonings. Bring to a boil and let simmer at a low – medium boil for about an hour and a half- or until the chicken is fall apart tender. Set aside

While the chicken is cooking, to prepare the Ranchero Sauce, bring a large pot with the chicken stock, chopped vegetables & seasonings to a boil. Simmer down to a low to medium boil for about and hour. Continue to salt and pepper to taste, adjust seasonings to preference. I typically play around with the sugar depending on the taste of the tomatoes, if the sauce is a little tangy, I will add a tsp of sugar to counteract the tanginess until it’s leveled to my preference.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take a very large baking dish or 2 medium sized baking dishes, and set aside for assembly.

With a spoon, lather some of the Ranchero Sauce to the bottom of your baking dish. On a microwaveable plate, place ten tortillas and cover with a paper towel, then microwave for 40 seconds. This helps the tortillas become more pliable for rolling. Continue microwaving the rest of the tortillas until you are out of filling. I usually microwave ten at a time until I run out.

To assemle the enchiladas, take one tortilla at a time and coat lightly in the Ranchero Sauce, fill the tortilla with 2-3 tbs of chicken then roll and place the enchiladas seam facing down on the baking sheet. Continue until all the chicken is used. Take the Monterrey jack cheese and cover the entire baking dish liberally. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and bake for 15-20 minutes or until all the cheese is melted throroughly.

 

 

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Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

Today was such a good day! We spent the morning and afternoon shopping for goodies for our kitchen! I went to Williams Sonoma and got new wooden spoons, some measuring cups, a new cooling rack and a zester. I seem to have lost my last zester from our last move. Yay for no longer having to use a cheese grater for zesting lemons!

Then I went to Sur La Table and got a couple serving platters! I just love getting new things for our kitchen. Luke and I are eventually planning to build our next home ( in the next year or two) and I have some BIG ideas for our future kitchen, I can hardly wait.

Anyway, so a few days ago we had gone to a night time farmers market at the Pearl in San Antonio. I had gotten some carrots, green onions and some other fresh vegetables. So I needed to cook them today because I was scared they would go bad soon.

 

 

I love roasting chicken with carrots/vegetables, especially when cooked in the same pan. It allows all the yummy juices from the chicken to sink into the vegetables and the flavor is so good!!

 

 

You can roast just about any vegetable combo with your chicken but I find that onions, carrots and potatoes are just the best. That’s how my mom use to bake her chicken and that’s how I like to do it too now! Plus, my picky eater of a son is into carrots and potatoes. So it’s a win-win for us.

Below, I will be sharing my usual method for roasting chicken, it makes for a tender juicy inside with a crispy skin! Crispy chicken skin is my favorite part of roasting a chicken! I hope you enjoy.

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Ingredients:

- 1 whole chicken
- 1 small orange
- 2 tsp paprika
- salt/ pepper to taste (enough to coat 
  entire chicken)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbs room-temp butter
- 5-7 large carrots
- 2 large green onions
- 2 tbs chopped green onion 
  reserved for garnish
- 1 lb assorted small potatoes or red potatoes
- additional salt / pepper for vegetables to taste

Instructions

Set your oven to 400 degrees. Clean out the cavity of the chicken and rinse the entire skin well with cold water. Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel and set the chicken in a large roasting pan. Coat the outside and underneath the skin of the chicken with room temperature butter. About 2 tbs on skin and 2 tbs under the skin. Sprinkle the paprika over the top of the chicken as well as the salt and pepper (liberally).  Roughly chop one small orange and insert into the cavity of the chicken also add garlic into the cavity with the orange. Take a piece of cooking string and tie the chicken legs closed together.

Arrange the onions, carrots and potatoes around the chicken in the roasting pan. Coat the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle entirely with salt/ pepper and the extra chopped green onions. Make sure to coat the vegetables evenly with The EVOO.

Place the roasting pan in the oven for about an hour and a half. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken. At about the 45 minute mark, open the oven and baste the chicken with the juices that begin to fill the bottom of the pan. Baste the entire chicken a few times with a spoon, then allow to continue cooking. If your chicken has achieved the perfect brown color, but is not done cooking internally, then set the oven down to 350 degrees and cover the pan with foil. If you’re Chicken is cooked internally, (you’ll know if you cut into the chicken between the leg and thigh, and the juices run clear), and the skin is not browned or crispy, set your broiler on for 3-5 minutes or until desired color of skin is achieved.

Let the chicken rest for ten minutes outside of the oven before carving.

Thank you for reading.

Chicken Egg Roll in a Bowl

 

Luke always asks me to make him “healthy” prepped meals that he can take to work. He works long hours, so sometimes he will eat more than one meal on a shift, so it’s easy for him to take multiple meals and eat when he can.

Anyway, I’m not a fan of healthy, green, granola lifestyle type of cooking. Give me the butter, fat, cream and sugar! That’s just how I am, but Luke is not! He tries his best to eat right and eat clean. So I try my best to accommodate for him every now and then!

A few months ago, Luke was working in the valley and found a healthy food store that prepped meals. One of the meals was a ground turkey egg roll bowl, he fell in love with it. He came home from that trip and kept asking me to make it for him, so I did.

I’ve made it a few times since, and tweaked the ingredients here and there. I like using ground chicken, but it could be done with just about anything! Hope you enjoy!

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Ingredients:

I - 1 1/2 tbs sesame oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3/4 cup of diced carrots 
- 1/4 cup of diced green onions 
- 2 1/2 tbs soy sauce (or more, taste to your 
  liking)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbs garlic powder 
- Toasted sesame seeds optional 
- Salt and pepper to taste (lots of pepper)
- Sriracha mayo for garnish, optional

Instructions:

Dice the yellow onion, garlic and carrots, set aside. Pour sesame oil into pan over medium high heat and begin cooking the ground chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken lightly. When the chicken seems mostly cooked through, add in the cabbage, yellow onion, garlic and carrots. As they cook down, season with garlic powder and onion powder. Add in soy sauce, taste the mixture and if it needs more soy sauce add a teaspoon more at a time, till you have achieved a taste to your liking.

Remove the pan from heat and throw in diced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve in bowl and add Sriracha mayo on top if desired. Let cool and it is ready to serve.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

One pot dinners are my absolute favorite, especially when I can manage to get multiple components and have the end result be a really yummy dish. For this recipe, everything gets cooked in one pan! That means you only have to wash ONE PAN!!! haha yes, this gets me so excited because washing the dishes sucks lol.

So usually when I develop a recipe, I pull tons of recipes I can find online or in a book, to guide me as I try to build off of each of them, to develop my own dish to my liking. However with this dish, I didn’t do that at all! I think because I cook a TON of rice all the time and I just wanted to have fun with it. Immediately I wrote everything down on my iPhone because I knew I was going to love this and I didn’t want to forget one step, lol. So beyond glad I did that.

Little back story on this dish, my dad, when he was alive, made this amazing Puerto Rican inspired rice. He made it at every family function! I’m half hispanic, so typically the rice we eat is Mexican/Spanish styled rice. But my dad had a really good friend who was from Puerto Rico, and he shared his moms famous rice recipe with my father! Needless to say, from that point on, at every Sunday bbq, we had Puerto Rican rice lol, everyone loved it.

My dad passed away in the summer of 2014, and all the time I wish I had asked him to share his recipe with me. I wish I could continue sharing the wonderful dish that we all miss so much! I’ve tried several times to recreate it, and I just can not seem to perfect it like he could.

So when I ended up developing this dish, it turned out to almost (accidentally) taste just like my dad’s rice!! I don’t know how, because I wasn’t meaning for it to! Although I did add a bunch of extra things like chorizo, and chicken, (his dish was only rice, no meat) however the actual rice came out SO delicious and it reminded me so much of my father, that it truly just brings me so much joy!! I hope you enjoy!

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Ingredients:

- 6-7 Chicken thighs with skin (can be bone 
  in or bone-less, *bone-in will be more flavor. 
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp paprika 
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 12-14 ounces chorizo
- 12 ounces Kiolbassa beef sausage
- 1 large tomato 
- 1 large yellow onion 
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 cups long grain rice 
- 2 heaping TBS of Goya Sofrito
- 4 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 packets of Goya Sazon Coriander and 
  Annatto seasoning 
- 1 cup frozen corn 
- 1 can Goya green pigeon peas 
- salt/pepper to taste
- 2 tbs fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and onion powder. Sauté the chicken thighs in oil over medium to high heat in pan. Cook the chicken until golden brown, it does not have to be entirely cooked on the inside at this point. (The chicken will later boil in the rice) Once browned, set aside.

In the pan of chicken drippings, cook the chorizo and sausage through. Once done, add in diced tomato, garlic cloves and onion. Continue to cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Now add in the rice and sofrito, then stir to combine. Once stirred, pour in the chicken broth. Add the corn, peas and goya seasoning packets. Take a spoon and taste the broth, add the salt and pepper to taste BEFORE adding the chicken back into the pot. After salted, put the chicken skin side up, atop the rice mixture.

Bring rice to a boil. Once boiling consistently throughout the pan, cover and set heat down to a low simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Check the mixture at around 15 minutes to make sure the bottom isn’t burning or getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Traditional paella will have a burnt crust at the bottom of the dish, if you want the bottom to crust, you don’t have to stir at the 15 minute mark.

When rice is entirely cooked, let it cool for a few minutes to let all the flavors sink in. Chop some fresh parsley over the dish and serve.

NOTES***

I apologize to anyone who comes across this recipe and does not recognize a few of these ingredients. I will link the ingredients below, so you can hopefully find and order them if you’re interested! I am a Texas girl, so I will link items to HEB’s website and for anyone who might not shop at HEB, I will also link to Amazon.

For this dish I recommend using a large shallow cooking pan!

Seafood is also typically added in Paella, my husband and I both do not like eating seafood. Shrimp is often added! I wanted to add the second component of beef (kiolbassa) along with the chorizo, but it is optional. Paella is a good recipe to play around with to your liking!!

Saffron is typically used in paella, and it gives the rice the beautiful yellow color. Saffron is one of the more expensive seasonings, so the Goya Sazon is a nice and cheaper alternative to using Saffron.

Sofrito*- Mixture of Green peppers, onions, culantro, and garlic in olive oil. For rice, beans, soups, chili & stews. Link will take you to HEB, if you are not from Texas, click here. 

Goya Sazon Coriander and Annatto seasoning- special blend of seasonings from Goya. For every 4 people your recipe serves, just add one packet of Sazon Goya. Two packets for a dish for 8.  Use it for meats, stews, soups, poultry, pasta, rice, beans, vegetables – everything.

For people not from Texas or for those who don’t shop at HEB click here.

Thank you so much for reading!!