Monday, September 28, 2009

Seasoned Chicken

There are times that you need to have some chicken for a dish. This recipe gives you some chicken that has a great flavor to add to a casserole, pot pie, soup or just about anywhere that you might need some boiled, seasoned chicken. One added advantage to my recipe is you also have a nice chicken stock that is a by-product of the process.

Here we go:

1 3-quart pan
Spoon for stirring

3 leg and thigh quarters, skinned, cut up with most of the fat removed
2 small to medium size carrots, washed and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery
3 cloves garlic, sliced into 1/8" slices
2 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt for better flavor and nutritional value)
pepper to taste (always put just a little then taste - you can always add, but it is difficult to take out.)
Optional: 1/8 tsp of oriental ground chili or a basil leaf
2 Tbsp canola oil
1-2 quarts water (varies based on size of pan, size of chicken pieces, etc.

  1. Prepare chicken. Hint: when removing skin, use a paper towel to grasp the skin and pull it off.
  2. Prepare veggies. Hint: make sure you wash the carrots and celery well so you can use the stock for soup or other things later.
  3. Add canola oil to pan, turn on to high heat.
  4. Once oil is hot, toss in vegetables, then lower to medium low heat.
  5. Stir regularly,
  6. Once onions are translucent, toss in chicken pieces.
  7. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn the pieces over until all the chicken is slightly cooked.
  8. Add salt, black pepper, and chili or basil leaf.
  9. Stir
  10. Add water to cover chicken.
  11. Stir.
  12. Cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender.
  13. Let chicken cool.
  14. Pull meat off the bones and dice it up or do whatever fits the recipe you are creating.
If you are just wanting some chicken noodle soup, skim off any excess fat, dice the chicken and add some egg noodles. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For more tenter chicken, go to very low heat and cook for 2 or more hours. You may have to add some water as you go, but this stuff should be really tender and tasty.

This also goes well in the enchilada casserole if you prefer chicken over beef.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Enchilada Casserole - Part II

Today, we are continuing with the second installment for the enchilada casserole.

If you missed it, here is the link to Enchilada Casserole Part I.

large microwave safe bowl
1 10 x 14 inch baking pan or dish
silicone scraper
ladle or cup
non-stick spatula

2 family size cans cream of mushroom soup
1 to 2 cups of milk for thinning soup
24 fried corn tortillas (see part 1 for instructions)
2 - 3 cups of taco meat
1/2 medium onion, diced finely
2 - 5 small cloves of garlic, minced (if you like a lot of garlic, use it!!)
1 - 2 pounds of grated cheese (I use one-half cheddar and one-half mozarella)
2 small cans of roasted and peeled chopped green chilis (you can substitute jalapeƱo or bell pepper if you like)

  1. Place the soup and milk in the bowl.
  2. Warm in the microwave for around 2 minutes.
  3. Once mixture is slightly warm, put in the taco meat, green chilis, onion and the garlic.
  4. Heat for another minute in microwave. Mixture needs to be where you can pour and spread it easily on each layer.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350° - place the top rack on the middle shelf, then put a cookie sheet or aluminum foil on the rack.
  6. In the baking dish, pour a layer of the soup/meat mixture.
  7. Place a layer of the fried corn tortillas on the soup mixture.
  8. Pour a thin layer of soup mixture on the tortillas. It doesn't have to cover them completely, as it will spread out during cooking.
  9. Sprinkle a layer of the cheddar and mozarella cheese onto the soup mixture.
  10. Place another layer of tortillas on the cheese and continue the process until you have 3 or more layers of "goodies" in the pan. You want to stop about 1/4" below the lip of the pan to allow for the bubbling of the soup.
  11. Cover the top layer with one last batch of cheese.
  12. Place the casserole into the oven on the cookie sheet or foil.
  13. Bake for at least an hour. It is better if you cook it for 1.5 hours as the fresh garlic and onion have a chance to cook more thouroughly.
  14. Remove from oven and let it cool for 30 minutes before serving (if you can wait that long).
  15. Serve with shredded lettuce, salsa, or pico de gallo.
Hope you like this one. It doesn't last long around my house. Have a great day and God Bless!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Enchilada Casserole - Part I








Everyone has their favorite recipes. This is one of mine. It is simple, easy to prepare, requires only a few ingredients and it is delicious. See the photos for more info.

I have decided to split it into two blog posts to make my posting easier. So here is the first step - cooking the tortillas.

Microwave Fried Corn Tortillas

1 microwave safe plate
1 microwave safe bowl
brush for spreading oil on tortillas
non-stick spatula

24 uncooked corn tortillas
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Frying corn tortillas - this is usually done in a skillet or deep-fat fryer, but after a lot of experimentation, I found I can easily fry them in the microwave with only 1/4 cup of oil! It is a lower fat and less messy method than the traditional one.
  1. Put about a tablespoon of oil in the plate, then place a tortilla in it, turning it one time to ensure that the oil on the bottom of the plate is all over the tortilla.
  2. Load the brush with oil and baste the top of the tortilla with it.
  3. Place another tortilla on top of the first, then brush the top with oil.
  4. Continue this process until you have twelve tortillas in a stack with oil between them.
  5. Put a layer of oil on the top of the last tortilla to ensure proper frying in the microwave.
  6. Put the bowl on top of the stack. The bowl catches any oil that splatters and helps in the cooking of the tortillas.
  7. Microwave on high for 5 to 8 minutes until the tortillas are fried. It is a good idea to check them during the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
  8. When they are done CAREFULLY remove the bowl and use a spatula to seperate the tortillas. The ones on the bottom tend to stick - this is why you should check them towards the end because they can burn if you cook them for too long. Make sure you don't do this! Your microwave will stink for a couple of days if you burn the tortillas.
That is it...tomorrow we will make the casserole. Until then - Adios!!