It was so exciting to go grocery shopping today for the first time since January 31!    I’ve planned my meals for the week and recipe 1 is Chicken Enchiladas.  I needed to take some dishes to the neighbors as well so I picked something I could do in a large quantity and portion out easily.  There’s not exactly a recipe for the enchiladas so I’ve approximated, but there is one for the sauce.  Canned/Jar sauces work well too, but when I’m taking food to neighbors I feel better if I know exactly what’s in everything in case there are allergies.  

About the chicken.  Store bought rotisserie chickens are super easy and often a really good deal.  They also tend toward the salty.  If you’re watching your sodium you’re better off to roast your own.  I usually buy split breasts because chicken on the bone is moister when roasted than is boneless, skinless breast.  I’m a master at roasting split breasts.  This is due in large part to the fact that I once had a dog who, for the last many months of his life, could eat only chicken, brown rice and cottage cheese.  So I have Gunnar to thank for my skills in this area.  I spray a roasting pan with cooking spray and roast 2-4 breasts at a time.   Leave the skin on for roasting.  Roast split breasts on the bone at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.  Let cool enough to touch.  Remove and discard the skin.  Pull meat from the bone and shred.  The shredding is easier if the meat is still warm.

I made red and green enchiladas today.  The red is spicy and the green is mild.  For the green sauce I used the salsa verde I made and canned over the summer.  It’s made with green tomatoes so it has a nice tartness about it.  Any salsa verde will do.  In each pan I used red sauce on one half and green sauce on the other.  If I made the red sauce again I’d use some fresh chiles, chopped and pureed, and cut the chili powder.  This sauce is the tiniest bit bitter because of all the chili powder.

In the first pan I didn’t microwave the corn tortillas quite long enough so they weren’t as pliable as I needed.  They tasted good, but they kind of fell apart after I rolled them.  By the third pan I had the system down and the enchiladas were beautiful.

The recipes below make enough to feed 8-10 people.  Feel free to halve the recipes.  You might want to make the whole red sauce recipe and freeze what you don’t use this time around.

Good?  YES
Easy? Yes, but the kitchen was a disaster by the end.  Dishes everywhere.
Good for company? Yes. Not elegant, but easy to make enough for a big crowd.
Special shopping? Nope.

Red Enchilada Sauce

Makes 3 1/2 cups


  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato purée
  • Preparation

    Heat 1/4 cup chicken broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or until tender and liquid evaporates. Add the remaining broth, chili powder, and remaining ingredients; stir well. Partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Enchilada Filling

    5 C shredded. roasted chicken (I used 3 split breasts)
    1T olive oil
    1C onions, chopped
    1t garlic, minced
    1C cooked rice
    1/2C corn
    1/2C peas
    1/2C shredded carrots
    1/4C fresh chopped cilantro
    1t cumin
    1t salt
    1t pepper
    2C shredded cheddar and jack cheese
    20 corn tortillas

    In large pot heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic.  Mix in remaining ingredients.  Pour a small amount of the sauce in the bottom of 2 9×13 baking dishes.  Microwave the tortillas 20-30 seconds to soften.  Dip a tortilla in the sauce.  Put 1/2C or so of the filling on the tortilla and roll it up.  Place the tortilla seam side down.  Repeat until all of the filling is gone or the pans are full.  Top with additional sauce.  Sprinkle 1 C shredded cheese on each pan.

    Bake at 350 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Serve with sour cream and extra sauce.

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