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Foods We LOVE: Enchiladas

Who doesn’t love Mexican flavors? I live in the north eastern corner of Carthage, and have several fantastic Mexican and Guatemalan restaurants nearby. And grocers. I like to go and look for things that I can’t find at Walmart, like pickled pacaya or bags of dried chilis. One grocer even makes fresh corn tortillas!

After cooking for clients this week, I found myself with a couple of rotisserie chicken carcasses. Instead of tossing them, I made chicken broth. Since I was craving Mexican food (ok, I always crave it), I decided to make enchiladas. Enchilada sauce requires chicken broth, so I used the freshly made broth. And since I had zero chicken meat, I used an even cheaper option than chicken…scrambled eggs! Breakfast enchiladas for Sunday brunch at my house: perfection all around!

You could make enchiladas with sauce from a can, and broth from a box, but believe me; homemade is always better. You can control the salt and there aren’t preservatives I can’t pronounce. I ended up with five large mason jars of broth, and the enchilada sauce just required one jar. So I’m set for soups or liquid to cook rice and pasta in all week. All for the price of a few jars; the rest was garbage, scraps of veggies and a chicken carcass. One box of broth costs 1.99 minimum. Score!

Enjoy the following recipes for broth and enchilada sauce. Stuff those enchiladas with whatever protein and sautéed veg you and your family enjoy. Don’t forget the cheese, both inside and on top. I use flour tortillas, but traditionally they’re made with corn tortillas. Salud! 





Homemade chicken broth

Makes 8 cups

Ingredients

Carcass from a 5-6 pound roasted chicken or bones from 2 bone-in chicken breasts, 2 bone-in chicken thighs, and 2 chicken wings
4 carrots unpeeled and cut into halves
2 ribs celery cut in half
1 yellow onion cut into quarters
1 head of garlic unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
6-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
6-10 whole black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1-2 tablespoons kosher salt


Instructions

Add the chicken carcass or bones, carrots, celery, onion, garlic halves to a large stock pot. Add cold water, covering the chicken and veggies by at least 1-2 inches—about 12-16 cups of water. Add a handful of the parsley (with leaves and stems intact), thyme sprigs, peppercorns, bay leaves, chicken bouillon cubes and kosher salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a lightly rolling simmer and cook partly covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the stock is amber brown and tastes well flavored. Add more salt to taste if necessary.

Turn off the heat and allow the broth to cool or if using immediately, place a large colander over a Pyrex 4 cup glass measuring cup and slowly drain the broth from the rest of the aromatics so the colander catches any veggies or bones that may fall from the pot. Then, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the stock into your next recipe's soup stock pot. Or, if storing to use later, strain into 1 quart wide-mouth glass canning jars and cool before adding a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze in gallon bags for up to 6 months.








Homemade enchilada sauce

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt, dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for spicier)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups home made or reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 teaspoon sugar
a pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar



Instructions

Whisk the flour and all seasoning together in a small and set aside. Melt the butter in the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour mixture and cook while whisking for 2 minutes. Whisk in the tomato paste until completely combined and continue to cook for 1 minute. 

Reduce the heat to low, then gradually whisk in the chicken broth. Continue to whisk until smooth and the lumps are dissolved. Whisk in cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon. 
Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue to simmer, whisking often, until it thickens to desired consistency, about 5-7 minutes. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken a little as it cools. 

Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired with additional salt, cayenne, sugar or vinegar. If the sauce thickens too much, simply whisk in additional chicken broth, a little at a time until it reaches desired consistency.



Breakfast enchilada ingredients. One egg per large tortilla. Crack and whisk eggs. Add a bit of heavy cream or milk. Small dice onions and peppers. Poblano pepper pictured. Sautés onions and peppers, then add eggs and scramble together. Shredded cheese, to your taste. Mexican blend pictured.




Assembly line. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.




Two large spoonfuls of egg mixture, sprinkle of cheese, and spoonful of sauce. Don't overstuff! Fold and roll, and set into baking dish. Once all eight enchiladas are nestled in, pour remaining sauce over and around them. Sprinkle with cheese evenly. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes to desired cheese bake.







Top with cilantro and sour cream or greek yogurt. Serve warm.





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