Saturday, March 7, 2009


I just love the way the kitchen smells when I am poaching something. All warm , fragrant with a hint of spice. Such was the case today. I was poaching the chicken for the chicken enchiladas and truly the house smelt heavenly. Isn't it amazing how some smells trigger certain emotions.There are probably many different ways of preparing enchiladas, all of them equally correct, but today's version is actually a Rachel Ray recipe that can be easily found on the food network or here:

Now for the confession, I had chicken breasts in the freezer, but when I went downstairs to the freezer to get them ,I found a package of turkey breasts that I had purchased a while ago. Costco sells everything in bulk and this was obviosly a left-over package that needed to be used up, before the chicken breasts. I made a quick decision to substitute them and use them up.Talking about using up things left over, enchiladas is a good way to use those left over tortillas from past fajitas and left-oversandwich wraps. As a result the enchiladas were made with spinach, tomato and regular tortillas and it didn't matter! If anything it added to the flavour.

Another short cut that I did was that I skipped making the sauce that Rachel Ray's recipe included and just used up the opened jar of left over salsa. That's the beauty of this recipe you can use up some of those things that just hang around forever in the fridge. I also didn't bother shredding the Monterey Cheese, but just layered the slices over the enchiladas and broiled under the broiler for about 6 minutes to get them nice and golden and bubbly.

A lovely Cesar salad accompanied this dish and even that was a quick job. I made the dressing all in the blender. If Ron had been home he would have rubbed the salad bowl with the garlic, beaten the egg yolk in the bowl, lovingly chopped the anchovies, added the lemon juice and Parmesan cheese and then ever so slowly drizzled in the olive oil and then whisked it all to a creamy perfection... not me I just threw everything in the blender and then at the end added the oil in a steady stream and adjusted the seasoning and my dressing I bet was just as good as Ron's. Anyways the entire meal was delicious even if I say so myself!

3C chicken broth
4 chicken breasts ( I used turkey)
1 bay leaf
2 springs fresh oregano (I only had dry)
1 small onion quartered

2T tomato paste (I used 3 because the turkey breast were so much larger than the chicken)

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin



2 c. tomato sauce

2 tsp hot cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. chili powder

21/2 cups shredded Monterey cheese

8 tortillas kept warm in oven while preparing the chicken.

Bring the broth to a boil and then add your chicken breasts. onion, bay leaf and oregano. Return to boil and then cover the dish and and reduce heat to a simmer and let the chicken poach for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and with 2 forks shred the chicken add the tomato paste, 1/2 cup of the broth liquid and then mix and add the seasoning.

Prepare the sauce ( or just cheat and use your left over salsa sauce like I did) When sauce is ready add a little to a baking dish. Take your tortillas and fill each with the chicken filling and roll up placing them seam down in the baking dish. Spoon the rest of the mixture over the dish , cover with the cheese and bake under the broiler until cheese is melted, golden and bubbling.

AS mentioned this is my improvised version for the authentic Rachel Ray recipe go to the site listed above.


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