Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole

As you have probably figured out by now, I love to be able to throw something in the slow cooker and forget about it… I also love Mexican (or really Tex-Mex) type foods. A friend posted this one (one of those 30-second videos) on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and I have been salivating about it ever since.

When I finally sat down and looked at the recipe, really it was all kinds of wrong. It had no building blocks of flavor. No onions (WHAT?)… chicken, cans of sauce, cheese and olives. Also, it had the chicken cooking for an insane amount of time. Unnecessary.

So when I went to the store to buy the ingredients, I stood in the Ethnic aisle and pondered. I decided to stick with the cans of enchilada sauce and I also picked up cans of green chiles (I opted for mild for the first go-round). I also grabbed an onion and went for 2 kinds of cheese. I nabbed some green onions and sour cream for garnish and decided that this would jazz this dish up to a whole other level.

Trust me, my friends (one in particular) will tell you that I am a suck for these videos but that even I will break my rule of following the recipe the first time when I know it is all wrong. Every great chef will tell you that you need the basics in any dish – and wether it is the French, the Spanish, the Mexican or even the Russians (okay maybe a bad example), pretty much everyone uses onions as a starting point. Take the time and give that dish some depth. This dish was still incredibly simple.

9servedYields 6 to 8 servings
Adapted From somewhere on the interwebs

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless
38 Ounce(wt)s enchilada sauce
1 Medium onion, white chopped
9 Ounce(wt)s chiles, green canned drained
11 Ounce(wt)s tortilla, corn, small cut into thick strips
1 Cup cheese, cheddar sharp grated divided
4 1/2 Ounce(wt)s olives, black sliced, drained, divided
2 Cups cheese, Mexican, grated
1/2 Cup sour cream for garnish
1 Bunch onion, green diced

Tools Needed:
Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart, Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker
ZYLISS Lock N’ Lift Can Opener

Directions:
Put the chicken breasts, onion, green chiles and the enchilada sauce in your slow cooker.
1chickenandonions
2withsauce

Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

Remove the chicken and shred with 2 forks and put the shredded meat back into the sauce.
3shredded

Cut the tortillas into strips and then cut the strips in half.
4choppedtortillas

Add the tortillas to chicken and sauce.
5addedcheese

Stir.  Add cheddar cheese and half the olives into the sauce and chicken mixture. Stir again until well combined.
6stirred

Flatten the mixture slightly. Add the Mexican cheese (2 cups) and the other half of the olives on top.
7topped

Cook on low for about 40 to 60 minutes longer.
8finished

Scoop into bowls and serve with sour cream and diced green onions on top.

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Chicken & Bell Pepper Fajitas with Guacamole

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Adapted from Mealime
Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 Medium bell pepper, red seeded and sliced
1 Medium bell pepper, yellow seeded and sliced
1/2 Medium onion, red sliced into semi-circles
4 Cloves garlic, fresh minced, divided
1 Large avocado
1/2 Bunch cilantro minced
1 Small lime 1/2 juiced, 1/2 wedged
1 to taste salt and pepper
1/2 Pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 1/2 Tbls oil, olive
4 Small tortilla, flour, 6 inch
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin, ground

Tools Needed:
Kuhn Rikon Stainless Steel Epicurean Garlic Press
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover
Fox Run Brands 2.75-Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl

Directions:
Add peppers and onions to a bowl. Add half of garlic.

Halve avocado and remove pit. Scoop flesh into a bowl; add remaining garlic. Add 1/2 of the minced cilantro.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat.

Add lime juice, salt and pepper to avocado. Mash with a fork until smooth. Set aside.

Slice chicken in half horizontally to form thin fillets, then slice fillets crosswise into strips. Season with salt and pepper.

Coat bottom of skillet with 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken strips and cook until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Return skillet to stove and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers, onions and garlic. Stirring frequently, cook until peppers are tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.

Warm tortillas in another skillet, oven or microwave. Add chicken and any juices to skillet. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

To serve, place tortillas on a plate and fill with fajita filling. Garnish with guacamole, remaining cilantro and lime wedges.

Chicken & Bell Pepper Quesadilla with Pico de Gallo

chickenquesadilla

From Mealime
Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 Medium onion, red minced
1 Large bell pepper, red small dice
2 Small tomato, beefsteak seeded and small dice
1 Large pepper, jalapeño seeded and minced
1/2 Bunch cilantro minced
1/2 Small lime juiced
1 tsp salt, Kosher divided
1 tsp pepper, black, ground divided
1/2 Pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 Tbls oil, olive divided
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
1 Cup cheese, cheddar sharp grated
2 Large tortilla, flour, 12 inch
1 to taste oil, olive cooking spray

Tools Needed:
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

Directions:
In a small bowl, prepare the pico by mixing together the tomatoes, 1/2 the onion, 1/2 the jalapeno, 1/2 the cilantro, lime juice and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.

Slice the chicken in half horizontally into thin fillets. Season both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to skillet and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Return skillet to stove. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil, bell pepper, add remaining onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Season with cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Stirring frequently, cook until vegetables have softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate with chicken. Slice chicken crosswise into strips.

Place tortillas onto a flat surface. Layer one half of each tortilla with 1/4 of the cheese, 1/2 of the chicken and vegetable mixture, and top with another 1/4 of the cheese. Fold tortillas over so they are closed.

Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel and reduce heat to medium. Spray with cooking spray. Place both quesadillas in the skillet, straight edges next to each other. Cook until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges.

To serve, place quesadilla on a plate and serve with pico.

Chicken Bacon Poppers

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Yields 8 servings
Ingredients:

1 Pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 Pound bacon, uncooked
2/3 Cups sugar, dark brown, packed
2 Tbls Lindy’s Rib Rub
1 to taste oil, olive cooking spray
toothpicks for securing

Tools needed:
Wilton 2105-0170 Candy Cooling Grid with Cookie Sheet

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dark brown sugar and rib rub; mix well.

Clean and trim chicken breast. Cut into 1-inch cubes.

Cut the bacon in half, roll around the chicken cubes and secure with a tooth pick.

Prep baking sheet with aluminum foil and a rack and spray with olive oil cooking spray.

Roll the pieces in the brown sugar mixture. Be sure to pack some in the ends. Place on the rack.

Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cover with foil on heavy dish to keep warm until served.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Parmesan Cauliflower Poppers

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From Garnish & Gather
Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:
2, 6 Ounce(wt) chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/2 Cup yogurt, Greek
1 tsp cumin, ground
1/8 tsp pepper, cayenne
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 Cup breadcrumbs, panko
1/4 Cup hot sauce, Frank’s Red Hot
4 slices pickles (recommended Doux South Angry Cukes)
2 Each buns, onion (recommended Holeman & Finch)
3 cups (1 small head) cauliflower
2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbls cheese, Parmesan, grated
2 Tbls mayonnasie
4 leaves lettuce, iceberg
3 Tbls oil, olive, divided
4 Tbls butter
1 to taste salt & pepper

Tools Needed:
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Quarter Sheet
Lodge L10SK3 Pre-Seasoned Skillet, 12-Inch
Simply Calphalon Nonstick 1-Quart Sauce Pan

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut cauliflower into small florets.

On a baking sheet lined with foil, toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, salt and pepper.

In a ziploc bag, combine Greek yogurt, cumin, cayenne, remaining garlic powder and onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add chicken to the bag, seal and toss or massage well to coat. Let marinate for 10 to 20 minutes.

Roast cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, until it begins to brown, tossing halfway through cooking time.

Put panko into a small, shallow dish.

In an ovenproof pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat.

Remove chicken from yogurt, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge chicken in panko, then add to the hot pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer pan to the oven and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through.

Sprinkle cauliflower with Parmesan, toss well, then roast another 5 minutes.

Place buns in the oven to warm.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low. Add in the hot sauce and whisk to combine.

Remove chicken from the oven and toss with the buffalo sauce.

To plate, spread mayonnaise on the buns, top with chicken, pickles, lettuce. Serve with the cauliflower on the side.

Chicken Marsala

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Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
4, 9-ozs chicken breast, boneless, skinless cut into cutlets
6 Tbls butter
4 Tbls oil, olive
1 Cup marsala
1 Cup broth, chicken
1 to taste salt
1 to taste pepper, black, ground
1 Pound mushrooms, white sliced

Tools Needed:
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

Directions:
Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and salt and let cook down, barely stirring, until golden brown. Set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dip them in flour and shake off the excess. In a heavy 10 to 12-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the chicken cutlets, three or four at a time, and brown them for about 3 minutes on each side. Then transfer them to a heated plate. Repeat until all cutlets are cooked, adding 1 tablespoon each butter and oil when needed.

Pour off fat from the skillet. Add the marsala wine and stock and boil the liquid briskly over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping up browned bits. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the skillet, cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, basting chicken now and then with the pan juices.

To serve, transfer the cutlets to a heated platter. Add the remaining stock to the sauce and boil briskly. When the sauce has reduced considerably and has the consistency of a syrupy glaze, taste it for seasoning. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the softened butter. Pour the sauce over the cutlets.

Chicken Francese

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Ingredients:
4, 6-ozs chicken breast, boneless, skinless
1 to taste flour, all-purpose for dredging
1 to taste salt, Kosher
1 to taste pepper, black, ground
4 Large egg, whole
3 Tbls water
1/4 Cup oil, extra virgin olive
1/2 Large lemon cut in thin slices
1/2 Cup wine, dry white
1 Cup stock, chicken, low-sodium
1/2 Large lemon juiced
2 Tbls butter, unsalted
1/4 Cup parsley, flat-leaf chopped

Tools Needed:
Norpro Meat Veal Pounder
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

Directions:

Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.

Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.