Shredded Chicken….Mexican Edition: Echiladas, Tacos, Nachos

blogenchilada9I love a recipe that can be used in different ways, and this is a super easy one because I get to bust out the slow cooker. Even better! This is one of those dinners I like to make when Scott has a game and I can start it before I leave the house and by the time the game is over, dinner is ready when we get home. That gives us more time to relax and spend more time together after his long day at the field. One of the great things about this recipe is that it has multi-uses. You can use it for enchiladas, like I’m doing tonight, or after the chicken is shredded in the crock pot, you can use it for tacos or even as a topping on nachos. Scott likes to scoop any leftover chicken on a tortilla chip and eat it that way. 

Here’s what you’ll need

2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast

salt and pepper

28 oz can of Las Palmas Enchilada sauce; you can find it here on Amazon: Las Palmas Red Medium Chili Sauce(this is my favorite enchilada sauce, if it’s not available at your grocer a good alternative is Hatch; pictured)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup shredded mexican cheese

1/4 cup cilantro, minced (plus 1 tablespoon for garnish)

1 cup diced onion

6-10 medium-sized tortillas

cooking spray

sour cream (optional)

Special equipment:
Crock pot or slow cooker (Crock-Pot 6.5-Qt. iStir Automatic Stirring Slow Cooker pictured below)

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Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and set in slow cooker. Top chicken with minced garlic and 3/4 of the enchilada sauce, reserving the rest for later. Program slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

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You’ll know when the chicken is done because it will be fork tender. Using two forks shred chicken in crock pot with all the juices. After shredding, let it sit in the crock pot for a few minutes to soak up all the excess juices. To the shredded chicken, add a half a cup of cheese and  the 1/4 cup of cilantro, mixing together.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a 9X13 casserole dish with cooking spray and using a few tablespoons of the leftover enchilada sauce coat the bottom of the dish. You can spread it around using a spatula if you’d like so it spreads evenly. In the microwave, heat the flour tortillas for blogenchilada10about 30 seconds so they are pliable to work with. Start assembling the enchiladas by dipping one side of the tortilla in the sauce. Assembling inside the casserole dish, fill the coated tortilla with about a 1/4 cup of the shredded chicken from the crock pot and then roll it up seam side down. Continue rolling the enchiladas until the casserole dish is full, using about 6-10 tortillas depending on how much you fill the tortillas. You may have some leftover shredded chicken, you can start a new casserole dish and roll more or use the leftover chicken for nachos as an appetizer (just layer some tortillas with the shredded chicken, refried beans, shredded cheese, diced onions, and salsa then melt the cheese under the broiler for a few minutes and too with sour cream when done….Nachoooossss). Top the enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce, the other 1/2 cup of cheese, and sprinkle about a 1/4 cup of diced onions on top. Bake in oven covered with aluminum foil for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden. Alternatively, you can broil the last 5 minutes if you want. Top with remaining raw onions and garnish with a couple of tablespoons of cilantro. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional). Let the enchiladas cool for a few minutes before serving. Got leftovers? Refrigerate and reheat the the next morning. Serve with a Sunny Side up egg on top! Thank me later! blogenchilada9

I served this with an easy spanish rice (recipe below) and some refried beans.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup diced onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup long grained rice

2 cups of chicken stock

1 whole diced tomato or small can of diced tomatoes with juice

4 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon each salt & pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, if you like it spicy feel free to add more

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (optional- Scott doesn’t like bell peppers so I omit this from the recipe when I make it for him)

While the eblogspanishricenchiladas are baking in the oven I usually start the rice so everything is done around the same time. In a large skillet on med-high heat, sauté onions and garlic (and red bell pepper if you chose to add) for about 3-5 minutes until softened. Add rice and sauce for 1-2 minutes, do not brown. Slowly add chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, crush red peppers flakes, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until rice is al dente and the rice has soaked up all the liquid. Remove from heat, uncover and fluff with a fork.


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