Category Archives: Poultry

OAMC: White Bean Chicken Chili

The rain has settled into the forecast here in Seattle for the next nine months, and there’s a definite crispness in the air. Although I [greatly] prefer fall’s sunny days to its wet and dark ones, I also am a huge fan of the season. You know, before the soggy misery has a chance to sink too deeply into my bones.

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Football and comfort food are two of the biggest reasons I love this time of year. So for this month’s OAMC freezer club, I decided to make chili. Because what says fall and football more than chili?! That, and my kid absolutely devours anything that looks like it may even remotely be made with beans. The boy loves his beans. Weird for a two year old, I know. I can throw a handful on his plate for a snack and he thinks I’m the best mom in the world. I just love that. Cheap, easy, and healthy.

I chose this recipe from Food Network because of the stellar reviews. I don’t know that I’d give it a five, but a definite four. It just needs a little something, but I’m not sure what. I’ll definitely make it again and tinker a little with the spices. I learned something while I was cooking, too. Apparently I need to wear a respirator when I chop, seed, and de-rib jalapenos. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I think some of the capsaicin from the peppers got airborne and I inhaled it. I could barely breathe and had to go outside to calm my insane coughing attack. (Don’t worry, club members, I didn’t cough on the chili.) Then my eyes started watering and my face started burning. After dipping my head in cold water, thoroughly rinsing my eyes, and breathing some fresh air for about 15 minutes, I finally made it back to the stove. It was one of the most intense and bizarre cooking incidents of my life … And to make it even more strange, the chili came out completely mild! I thought for sure it was going to blow our heads off with spiciness after all that drama. Anyway, I survived. And I don’t need to see another jalapeno again for awhile.

I also couldn’t find poblano peppers at the store. Several reviewers mentioned they substituted roasted green chilies, so I decided to go that route. The peppers probably make for a more interesting flavor profile, but it’s still yummy with the chilies. I also threw in a bag of white corn at the very end to thicken it up a bit and add some heartiness. This chili definitely tastes better on day two than on the day it’s made. So make it in advance if you can.

OAMC White-Bean Chicken Chili

Serves: 4 to 6

 Ingredients

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans (I used one can of cannellini beans and one can of navy beans.)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 8 oz. fire-roasted diced green chilies
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus lime wedges, for serving
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • 1 lb. bag of frozen white corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for topping

Directions

Drain and rinse the canned white beans. In a medium bowl, mash half of the beans with a potato masher until chunky. Reserve the beans until needed.

Add the canola oil to a large Dutch oven and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt, and pepper, to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and continue to saute for 1 more minute to toast the spices. Stir in the chicken stock, and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes.

After 20 minutes of simmering, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken, frozen corn, and cilantro, and simmer until heated through, about 10 more minutes. Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips (only Juanita’s brand will do), and lime wedges.

**For OAMC, cool dutch oven overnight in refrigerator. Once completely chilled, gently stir chili to mix, then scoop into desired serving sizes in gallon-size zippered bags, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to three months. To serve, thaw completely in refrigerator, 24-48 hours. Warm through over medium heat.

Chicken Enchiladas (and Freezer Club!)

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my super-awesome, life-saving, couldn’t-live-without-it freezer club. If you are a time-crunched parent who all too often finds yourself scrounging around for dinner at the last minute, I highly recommend you start a freezer club.

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There are four of us in my club, including me. We each pick one freezable recipe every month and make four family-sized meals (about three to four adult-sized portions each). We keep one for ourselves, and give one to each of the other members. This works out to one freezer meal per week, and everything is so much better than any pre-packaged, frozen food from the grocery store. Thankfully all of my friends in the club are excellent cooks, so it’s fun to try what everyone comes up with. And none of us are picky eaters or have particularly finicky children or spouses, so it’s always open season for ingredients. We also have an “honesty policy” and let each other know if a meal wasn’t particularly delicious to prevent it from showing up again. Everyone’s cool with this, so no hurt feelings.

I’ll be sharing these recipes under the OAMC (once-a-month cooking) category and I hope you find them useful. Everything in this category should keep well in the freezer for three to four months. They’re great recipes to make for people with new babies, or to stock up in your own freezer before a new little one arrives.

First up is one of my family’s favorite meals — freezer club or otherwise. A couple years ago, I randomly tried the enchilada sauce recipe in my Vitamix cookbook and was hooked. We haven’t had canned sauce since then. I’ve made a few small changes to suit our tastes (the additions of cayenne, cinnamon, and onion). It’s definitely worth the time to make your own! Of course, if you’re in a time crunch, you always can use your favorite canned variety, too. I won’t judge. Happy freezing!

Freezer Chicken Enchiladas

(A combination of several recipes; mainly from Cook’s Illustrated and Vitamix)
Serves 12-16

Some tips before you get started (courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated):

  • Freeze the rolled enchiladas and sauce separately; otherwise they will turn into a mushy mess.
  • Spray the tortillas with vegetable oil cooking spray and briefly heat them in the oven to make them pliant enough to roll easily.
  • Bake the enchiladas while still frozen. Defrosting them leads to a dried-out texture once baked.
  • Partially bake the enchiladas “naked,” or without sauce. A light coat of vegetable oil spray will keep the tortillas from drying out too much.
  • For a simple fix, use leftover cooked chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe. Serve with avocado, pickled jalapeños, shredded lettuce, and/or sour cream.

Enchilada Ingredients

  • 8 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 8 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. frozen corn kernels (one bag)
  • 20 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray

Sauce Ingredients (makes about six cups)

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. To make the sauce: Place all sauce ingredients into large blender or food processor in order listed and secure lid. Turn machine on high and blend thoroughly. Pour into saucepan and bring to boil on the stove over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. Transfer to heat-safe bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
  2. To begin making the enchiladas, toss the shredded chicken with two cups sauce, four cups cheese, beans, and corn.
  3. Place five tortillas on baking sheet and lightly coat both sides with cooking spray. Bake tortillas until just pliable, about 2 minutes. Working quickly, transfer one tortilla at a time to work surface, fill with 1/3 cup chicken mixture, and roll tightly. Transfer, seam side down, to large plate or cookie sheet. Repeat warming and rolling process with remaining tortillas. Place plate in freezer until enchiladas are frozen, at least one hour.
  4. Divide remaining sauce and cheese into four portions each and package separately in quart-size Ziploc bags (eight bags total — about one cup of cheese and one cup of sauce per bag). Tightly wrap enchiladas in bundles of five, first in plastic and then in foil. Place one portion each of five enchiladas, one bag of cheese, and one bag of sauce into a gallon-size Ziploc. You will have four meals total. Freeze for up to three months.
  5. When ready to serve: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. To remove sauce from bag, run warm over the bag for about a minute, then break up sauce and place into a saucepan. Warm on stove over medium, stirring frequently.
  6. Coat 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange frozen enchiladas in single layer in baking dish and coat tops with cooking spray. Bake until tops of tortillas are just beginning to flake, about 20 minutes. Remove dish from oven, top enchiladas with sauce, and bake 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle enchiladas with remaining cheese and bake until cheese melts and center of casserole is hot and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Easy Peasy Barbecue Chicken

For my inaugural post, I thought the absolute easiest “recipe” I could think of would be appropriate. Seriously, people. It doesn’t get easier than this. Four ingredients and you’re done! This is perfect “it’s-summertime-and-I-do-not-feel-like-cooking-but-need-to-feed-my-family-a-decent-meal” food.

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And, I get to use one of my favorite kitchen tricks for this one, too. Shredding meat with my stand mixer! The first time I tried this method, I was amazed that it worked so perfectly. I’ve never been very successful using forks to shred meat, so it was an extra bonus to find something that both works better and saves tons of time.

Once your meat is cooked, cut it into big chunks (each chunk should be about the size of a half deck of cards) and throw it into your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. (I have a KitchenAid Artisan series 5-quart stand mixer.) Using the lowest speed, mix the meat for about a minute to shred. You’ll want to watch it closely and stop it when the meat is shredded to your desired fineness. Is fineness a word? Anyway, voila! Perfectly shredded meat.

Easy Peasy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Three unseasoned, average-sized, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
    (I use frozen chicken breasts and bake for about 45 minutes at 375F.)
  • About 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
    (We like Sweet Baby Ray’s brand.)
  • Four slices of sharp cheddar cheese
    (We always have Tillamook on hand in our house.)
  • Four hamburger-style buns of your choice
    (I like sweet onion buns for this particular sandwich.)

Directions

Cut cooked chicken breasts into quarters, and add to stand mixer with paddle attachment. Turn mixer onto the lowest speed and slowly add barbecue sauce while chicken is shredding. Once chicken has reached desired consistency, turn off mixer and remove paddle attachment.

Preheat oven to broil. Open buns and place a cheese slice on one half of each bun. Toast under the broiler for about a minute, until cheese starts to melt and buns slightly toast. Remove buns from oven, throw on some chicken, and enjoy! This goes great with potato salad and a simple garden salad, too.