Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pantry Meals: Chicken Enchiladas

I know in this day and age it's sacrilege to use anything less than the freshest ingredients, but I honestly think if you can't transform canned goods into something fantastic, you might have some sort of severe culinary handicap. Educate yourself on how to put together a few pantry meals, and you might never need to eat out again if you keep the ingredients on hand.

This is a great way to use food storage, and it can also help you stay on your budget (especially if you shop the case-lot sales).

I know Chicken Enchiladas have many incarnations. The kind my mother favored growing up was to smother them with cream of chicken soup and sour cream, a soggy concoction I've never really stood behind. I prefer something a little more aesthetic. (And probably more waist-line friendly.)

This recipe is adapted from Robin Miller's recipe, but uses pantry staples in place of some fresh ingredients. It's definitely a go-to meal for me. It comes together really fast with practically no prep.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2, 24 oz. cans chicken breast, drained (We use the ones from Costco. So handy!)
1, 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1, 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1/3 c. prepared salsa
flour tortillas
cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400˚. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 2 minutes or so. Add chicken, beans, chiles and salsa. Let simmer 5 minutes, until liquid reduces and thickens.

Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, roll and place in greased casserole dish. Cover generously with cheese and bake 15 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Serve with desired condiments. (sour cream, extra salsa, guacamole, etc.)

I've also made these with one can of chicken and some leftover rice. P said he liked them even more than the all-chicken variety. Play around with it and find what works for you.

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