Saturday, July 5, 2014

Lighter Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

by Peg Cochran

I've adapted this recipe from one by Martha Stewart to better suit our tastes.  It's super easy, is a great use for leftover chicken (either from a rotisserie chicken or one you prepared yourself) and it makes two  casseroles--one for now and one to freeze for later!  I don't know about you, but having a dinner in the freezer ready to go makes me feel like I have money in the bank!

2 to 3 boneless chicken breast halves (approx. 6 ounces each)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
6 teaspoons chopped garlic (for convenience sake I used the already chopped garlic in the jar)
1/2  cup flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons minced, canned chipotles in adobo (depending on how hot you like it)
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 cup water (as needed -- optional)
6 inch corn tortillas
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (or more, to taste)

In a large skillet bring one inch salted water to a boil.  Add chicken, cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer 5 minutes, remove skillet from heat.  Let chicken steam, covered, until opaque (about 15 minutes.)  Transfer to a cutting board and shred with two forks.

Add chicken to bowl and mix in black beans.

Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan.  Add garlic and cook approx. one minute.  Add flour, cumin, chopped chipotles and cook, whisking, for approx. one minute.  Whisk in broth and bring to a boil (if sauce appears too thick, add optional water until desired consistency is reached.)  Simmer 5 to 8 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer one cup of sauce to bowl with chicken and beans and stir in.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour 1/4 cup sauce in the bottom of each of two pyrex or oven proof dishes.  Stack tortillas, wrap in layer of damp paper towel and microwave approx. one minute (to soften).  Fill each tortilla with a couple spoonfuls of chicken/bean mixture, roll and place seam side down in baking dish.  Cover with most of the remaining sauce (I like to reserve some because my husband likes to add it at the table--the sauce is doubled from the original recipe which he thought was too dry.)  Top with cheese and bake until hot and bubbling approx. 15 to 20 minutes.  Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

If freezing one pan for later, cover tightly with aluminum foil and then freeze.

Shred cooked chicken

Can be found in the international aisle of your grocery store
Chopped chipotles

Spread sauce in bottom of baking dish

One meal for now...

And one to freeze for later!

Pour sauce over each baking dish and then sprinkle with cheese

Bake until hot and bubbling!

Margaritas are optional!

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  1. Sounds tasty! I often cook a whole chicken, and my husband and I eat the white meat, saving the dark meat for another meal. This sounds like a great solution.

    Re that frozen casserole--yesterday I fished something out of the freezer that I obviously had saved carefully, and I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. In any case, it was covered with chunks of ice and didn't look like anything I wanted to eat. Note to self: label things (and add a date)!

    1. Sheila, I can't tell you how many times I've done that! Sometimes I let it defrost just to satisfy my curiosity even though I don't plan on eating it! My hubby and I are equally opportunity chicken eaters--dark for me, white for him so we always have half a chicken left over!

  2. I love this recipe, Peg, and can't wait to try it. It's great when we can give chicken a new taste.


  3. I rarely try anything new--but this recipe is too wonderful to waste. Going shopping Monday!!

  4. Ah, yes. The mystery items in the freezer! The ones you don't label because 1-Of course you'll remember what it is! and 2-It will be obvious looking at it what it is (not allowing for freezer ice as a disguise).
    Any reason why you cook the chicken in water rather than the broth yu are going to use later?

  5. Sheila, that's too funny! But we all do it.

    Peg, I'm like you. I love to have something in the freezer. Some days there's just no time for everything that has to be done. I like having a dessert in the freezer, too. You never know when a friend might stop by.


    1. I like the dessert in the freezer idea...that's one way of keeping my husband from eating it!

  6. Margaritas are never optional! LOL

    Love it, Peg.
    Daryl / Avery