Holiday Favorites

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

There’s also some broccoli in there, too. All the food groups represent: cheese, carbs, leftover protein, and green stuff. If that doesn’t scream balance, then I do not know if there’s help for you.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

With the coldest night since April on tap for us tonight – 44F, BRRRRR! – I wanted something warm and not-chili for dinner. I took the house – and Thanksgiving favorite – Cheesy Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole and grabbed a can of chipotles and that leftover shredded chicken in the fridge that needed to be eaten, like, yesterday.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

It’s still all the things you love about the traditional broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole: one baking dish, cheesy, gooey, not-very-pretty comfort food. But this version, it gets a little added kick from stirring a few tablespoons of minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into the cheese sauce.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

It’s a little spicy. It’s still super cheesy. And insanely comforting.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Rice Casserole

The cheesy comfort food favorite gets a spicy kick from chipotle peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups uncooked white rice (or enough to yield 3 cups cooked, check your package instructions)
  • 16 oz frozen chopped broccoli
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp minced chipotles in adobo sauce*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover shredded chicken
  • *I put the entire can into a mini-chopper and mince and then save the leftovers in the fridge. Or freezer.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, cook the rice in water with a generous pinch of salt, according to package, directions and then set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Whisk in the flour, onion, garlic, 2-3 tablespoons of minced chipotles (if you're sensitive to heat, start with 2), a generous pinch of salt and black pepper.
  5. Let cook 1-2 minutes and then slowly add the milk, whisking until the sauce is smooth.
  6. Let the sauce simmer, reducing the heat if necessary, about 5 minutes until thickened and bubbling.
  7. Remove from heat, whisk in the cheddar a handful at a time until completely melted.
  8. Taste for spice/seasoning and add additional chipotles, salt, and pepper to taste.
  9. Add broccoli, rice, and chicken to the pot and mix well.
  10. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish and bake ~35 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.

Notes

Yields: 8-12 servings

Adapted from Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa

Estimated time: 1 hour

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Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

Well, actually three ways. But I didn’t photograph the third way.

(Can’t wait to see those Google keyword searches next week!) ([giggle])

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

Let me introduce you to the most amazing thing to come out of my crockpot since… well, that last amazing thing that came out of my crockpot.

I call it Honey Chipotle Chicken. And I call it dinner for 4 nights this week.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

It starts with 3 lbs of chicken breasts, some honey, a can of chipotles in adobo, and some onion and garlic. ~5 hours later, you have enough chicken to feed a small army for nearly the rest of the week. An army that will absolutely adore you.

The cooking sauce is defatted (it’s a word) and thickened and then drizzled over the shredded chicken. The sauce has a pretty amazing balance of sweet and heat – my 4 year old actually claimed it to be “too spicy”… but I watched her mop up every single drop of sauce with her quesadilla because seriously – what won’t that kid do for a bowl of Blue Bell? (Besides not cleaning her room.)

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

The first night we made those tacos and quesadillas (because my 4 year old will not eat a taco that hasn’t been sufficiently smashed), topping them with pico de gallo and some crumbled goat cheese. For lunch the next day, I served it over a bowl of some fancy rice-quinoa mix.

Then we made enchiladas. And I have no reservations about telling you this: They are absolutely the best enchiladas I’ve made or eaten. Ever. Sweet, spicy (but not craaazy hot), and cheesy comfort food.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos and Enchiladas

And I’ve still got 1/2 lb of shredded chicken and a cup of sauce left. I can tell you one thing – the weekend’s football munchies are going to be killer good.

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken

Sweet and spicy Honey Chipotle Chicken made in the crockpot. Tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, or gameday appetizers - it's uses are as endless as the dish is amazing.

Ingredients

  • For the Honey Chipotle Chicken:
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 7 oz can chipotles in adobo
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • To serve as tacos:
  • Tortillas
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • To serve as enchiladas:
  • 12 tortillas
  • 4 oz grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in a large crockpot.
  2. Place the chipotles, honey, onion, garlic, a couple dashes of Worcestershire, and black pepper into a blender (you can chop/mince everything by hand if you'd like). Fill the empty chipotle can with water and add the water to the blender.
  3. Blend for 15-20 seconds until you have a pourable sauce (super smooth, homogenous liquid not necessary).
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken and shred (I am still loving this method!); cover and set aside.
  6. Skim the fat from the top of the sauce or pour the sauce into a fat separator (I have this one and didn't use the strainer attachment).
  7. Transfer defatted liquid to a sauce pan on the stove over medium high heat. Pull out ~1/2 cup of liquid and whisk it with 3 Tbsp cornstarch. Add it back to the sauce pan and cook until it the sauce boils and thickens.
  8. I tossed 1/2 cup sauce with the shredded chicken to keep it moist and then stored the two separately (I had 3.5 cups of liquid).
  9. To make tacos, serve the shredded chicken drizzled with 1-2 Tbsp of honey chipotle sauce and top with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and crumbled goat cheese.
  10. To make enchiladas, place 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375. Wrap chicken and a pinch of shredded cheese in each tortilla and place in the dish (I used half the cheese inside the enchiladas, the other half on top). Top with 1-1.5 cups honey chipotle sauce and the remaining cheese. Bake ~15 mintutes, until browning and bubbly. Serve topped with chopped cilantro (if you're not a hater).

Notes

Yields: A Whole Lot

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, method inspired by The World Famous Honey Sesame Chicken

Estimated time: 5 hours 30 minutes

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Homemade Hatch Chile Tortillas

I have successfully burned through nearly all of the hatch chiles I was going to “save.” [shrugs] Oh well, the canned version will do until next August.

But before I give in to apples – and then pumpkin and then Christmas lights (because it is a slippery slope) – I have one last recipe using the mountain of hatch chiles that sat on my counter.

Hatch chile tortillas. [swwwooooon]

Hatch Chile Borracho Beans

If you’ve ever eaten a fresh tortilla, whether your made it yourself or picked up a still-warm pack from the grocery store (I hope you all have this option one day!), you know they are so much softer and flavorful than the assembly line version.

And if you’ve never eaten a fresh tortilla? Well, let’s fix that now.

Homemade Hatch Chile Tortillas

My HEB sells made-in-store flour tortillas studded with chunks of roasted hatch chiles but you can only get them during their Hatch Chile Fest, which is 2-3 weeks a year. They’re actually already gone and won’t be back until next August.

No worries, though. I’ve got you (mostly me) covered.

Homemade Hatch Chile Tortillas

I took my favorite tortilla recipe (it’s the only one you & I will ever need) and infused it with roasted, smokey hatch chiles. And unlike the ones I buy, the smokey flavor – and heat, if you purposely (or not) picked up the hot hatches – is distributed throughout the entire tortilla.

Hatch Chile Tortillas

Homemade flour tortillas flavored with roasted hatch green chiles.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaping tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp softened butter, oil or shortening (I usually use olive oil)
  • 4 roasted hatch chiles, seeds removed, or ~2 cans (1/2 cup) diced chiles, drained really well
  • 1/3-1/2 cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt a few times in your food processor fitted with the dough blade.
  2. Add the fat and process until the mixture is uniformly-ish crumbly.
  3. Add the chiles and then slowly stream in the water, just until the dry ingredients form a ball and starts traveling around the bowl (you might not use all of the water or you might need a little more).
  4. Let the dough knead for ~30 seconds. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, be soft and not overly sticky. (You can most certainly do this by hand with a pastry cutter, a wooden spoon, and your hands - but it will be easier to mince/puree the chiles first.)
  5. Turn out onto a flour-dusted surface and divide dough into golf-ball sized portions (I weighed mine out to 2 oz each).
  6. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Heat a large, dry saute pan over medium high heat.
  8. With a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into thin rounds, dusting the top with just enough flour to keep the tortilla from sticking to the rolling pin.
  9. (You may have a few larger pieces of hatch chiles in the dough that interfere with rolling - just press those back into the tortilla dough before cooking.)
  10. Lay tortilla flat in the heated pan and cook on each side for ~20 seconds, until the bubbled areas brown.
  11. Keep covered with a kitchen towel to keep warm and pliable. Eat warm.

Notes

Yields: ~12 tortillas

Adapted from: Homemade Tortillas

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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