Tuesday, February 5, 2013

January Cooking Club: Belated review of Skinny Chicken Enchiladas

2013!  New year, new cooking club recipes, and this time, we're not following the Pioneer Woman cookbooks.  Instead, we can cull our recipes from anywhere.

I'm behind on posting, but I suppose I can't call it a PW catch-up post!

(More of those coming, though -- lots of photos scattered everywhere and I have to find them, pull them together, and post.  Takes time ... and lately, I've been plopping on the couch when I get home and resolving to do NOTHING.  n-o-t-h-i-n-g!)

Back to my story.

January's recipes were:

1.  Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic Green Beans from the Real Simple website chosen by Catherine at Bailey Dailies

2.  Skinny Chicken Enchiladas from www.skinnytaste.com chosen by Ellen at Sweet and Savory Snacks

3.  Garlic and Onion Biscuit Ring from Tasty Kitchen "chosen" by Jennifer at Redheads Plus One

Bonus Recipe:  Herbed Goat Cheese Spread from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (pg. 22)

I completely forgot to submit my choice, which is why mine says it was "chosen" -- I asked our club head honcho (also a Jennifer) to pick one for me.  She rocked it.  (Thanks, Jennifer!)

Here's the skinny on the enchiladas.  (See what I did there?  You're welcome.  hee hee) 

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas
Verdict:  Spicy, but wonderfully flavorful.  Definitely a keeper.  And pretty easy, when it comes down to it -- but it's a three-pot meal at a minimum.
Cook it again: Mick would eat it every night, so yes.  Definitely.
Cost Factor:  Not bad at first glance, but it adds up in a hurry.  Chicken, chipotles, tomato sauce, cheese, tortillas ... nothing extraordinary, but before you know it, you're up near $20.

This recipe is very easy.  Supposedly it's a Weight-Watchers-type thing (on the Web site it includes a points count), but you'd never know it.  That's probably also because I disregard all things that call for lowfat anything.  I want flavor. 

Open up a can.  You'll need it in this recipe.
On your stove-top, you make the ranchero sauce and separately make the chicken filling for the tortillas.  I had boiled up some chicken earlier in the week with the expectation that we'd use it for a bunch of things, so I had it ready to go and didn't need that additional time (or pot)

I always have a whole bunch of cans of tomatoes and sauce on hand, but I buy the San Marzano tomatoes, which don't typically come in a small can.  This recipe didn't use an entire 28-oz can, so I have a little extra that I'll have to whip into something else later this week or we'll have wasted it.  For the sake of this recipe, you don't need San Marzano tomatoes, so you can save yourself the cost and the waste and buy a regular-sized can.

not San Marzano, but still the larger can.  More than you need.

Without going into the play-by-play, this is an enchilada recipe.  Easy peasy.  You mix the chicken with spices and peppers and chicken broth, stuff the tortillas, roll them, cover them in sauce and cheese, and bake.  What's nice is that this recipe is easy.  Sure, when it comes down to it a lot of recipes -- even enchilada recipes -- are easy to do but the ingredients are tedious and obnoxious or the prep takes all day; this enchiladas recipe is easy as in "I have all these ingredients on hand and can get the gist of this well enough to explore variations on my own next time I make enchiladas or want to use up some shredded chicken."

Kristin over at Life is So Kool had commented that this recipe was too spicy for her and her family.  I agree that this recipe is very spicy -- and not in a buffalo-sauce kind-of way, but a rich chili kind-of way.  I don't know; I suppose it hits a different part of the tongue?  In any event, it's smokier than it is "Buffalo."  But in the end, yes, it was spicy.  This was fine for Mick and for me, but I knew CAM wouldn't touch them, and WHM's been on a hunger strike lately, so the kids had chicken nuggets.  Yes, I broke my cardinal rule of family dinner:  we always eat the same meal at the same time.  But really, it wasn't practical this time.  As it turns out, the kids actually did eat their chicken nuggets, so I am calling it Victory!  <--- yes, with a capital V!

And yes, these were absolutely delicious.  I can't stand "light" food that's only really light on flavor.  The abundance of chipotle in this recipe (chipotles in adobo sauce and a whole lotta chipotle chili powder in both the sauce and chicken marinade) really makes it wonderfully spicy, but in the kind of way where you can still taste the other things going on, and which also makes it very easy to manipulate the spice level.  I'm a big fan ...these definitely will go into the rotation.


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