Posts Tagged ‘Shredded Chicken’

Mexican Bake | Relishing ItSo, what are you planning to do with all of those delicious turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving?  Sandwiches?  Really?  I like a good cold-turkey sandwich as much as anyone, but today I have a recipe that is a great alternative.  And to be honest, even if you don’t have turkey leftovers you should make this dish.  It’s wonderful, and so versatile that you can make it with turkey, chicken, ground beef or even just beans, for a vegetarian option.

Mexican Bake | Relishing It

You’ve probably noticed that I’m into making ‘bakes’ a lot this year.  I’ve been having fun incorporating legumes, grains, and quinoa (technically a seed) into meals.  Aside from being so easy to throw together, they’re incredibly satisfying and a healthy option.  A big bowl of hot food is just what we all need as we gather around the dinner table together while it snows outside.  This particular bake has a Mexican flare. I’ve made it a number of ways depending on what we have in the house. I’ve been challenging myself this year to make meals out of food that we have, rather than running to the store every time an idea enters my brain. Aside from a smaller grocery bill, it cuts down on wasting otherwise-usable food, so that makes me happy.

Mexican Bake | Relishing It

This dish is fabulous with shredded chicken or turkey, but it’s also equally tasty using ground beef (or shredded beef, if you happen to have that).  Substituting beef broth for the chicken broth is an easy swap.  Of course, going completely vegetarian is a no-brainer, too.  Just add more beans and use vegetable broth, or even water.  Just amp up the spices a bit more to compensate. Whatever protein you decide to use, it will pair wonderfully with the brown rice, corn, and beans.

Mexican Bake | Relishing It

You all know that I pretty much can all of my tomatoes that I need to get me through the winter.  However, Red Gold Tomatoes generously sent me some different varieties of canned tomatoes to try (thanks, guys!).   So, I incorporated them in this dish and they were fantastic! I used the the lime juice and cilantro variety.  Of course, you can use any type of canned tomato that you have on hand, but these added a nice zesty flavor to the dish.

Mexican Bake | Relishing It

Load the bake up with as much cheese as you would like– that’s a personal preference.  Before serving, squeeze on some fresh lime juice, sprinkle with cilantro, slice up some jalapeños, and dollop on the sour cream.  Serve it with tortilla chips or plain tortillas and you are set.  You’re going to love this dish!

Mexican Bake | Relishing It

The Recipe: Mexican Bake

(serves 4)

olive oil

about 1 pound (or a bit more) of cooked shredded chicken, turkey, ground or shredded beef (see note)

1 small red or white onion, diced

about 4 garlic cloves, minced

about 14-15 ounces of cooked beans, drained and rinsed (any kind– red, black, pinto, or even white) (when I forget to soak my own, I’ve really been enjoying Simply Balanced Organic Beans (found at Target) for both the texture and the flavor.)

1 cup long grain brown rice, rinsed (any type of rice will work–if wanting to use white, just note that the cooking time will decrease)

1 tablespoon ancho chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1-2 teaspoons ground coriander

kosher salt and cracked pepper

about 1 cup frozen corn

1 1/2 cups homemade chicken or beef broth heated (depending upon what protein you are using)

1 15-ounce can Red Gold diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro (or anything similar)

shredded cheese, 1-2 cups  (sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and monterey jack are great options)

chopped fresh cilantro, fresh jalapeños, sour cream, fresh limes, hot sauce, tortilla chips, and/or fresh tortillas for serving

Note:  If wanting to use shredded chicken, simply sauté one pound (or a bit more) of chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper in a skillet with olive oil.  They should take about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending upon how high your heat is.  Check for doneness, then shred with a fork.  Or use rotisserie!

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large Dutch oven add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes over medium-high heat until somewhat soft (you would brown the ground beef just prior to this, if using).  Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, about 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and cracked pepper to the pan.  Then add the canned tomatoes with juices, beans, rice, meat, corn, and heated broth and continue to cook for a couple of minutes over medium-high heat until everything is hot.

Mix in the meat.  Flatten everything with a spatula so the rice can cook properly in the liquids.  Place in the preheated oven and bake covered for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and add the cheese.  Return to oven, covered, for about 5 more minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, hot sauce, tortilla chips and/or fresh tortillas.  Enjoy!

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving celebrating with your loved ones!  Peace to all.



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Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

So, I’m assuming you have all made your homemade batch of enchilada sauce from my post a couple days ago, right?  Now, what are you going to do with that bowl of deliciousness?  You could use it for regular ol’ enchiladas, but why not try something different– like this enchilada bake? An enchilada bake is kind of like an Italian lasagna but with a Mexican twist.  It’s a lot of layering of ingredients of your choosing separated by tortillas, cheese, and sauce.  And it’s wonderful.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Of course, you can use any sort of filling that you want, but I chose to go with butternut squash because it’s in-season right now.   Shredded chicken probably isn’t necessary as the black beans give this dish protein and a nice Mexican vibe.  With that said, the chicken was perfect in this dish– and my husband probably would have rioted without it.  Plus, I had some in my refrigerator from making broth the other day.  I love the combination of the squash, black beans, and chicken– they compliment each other so well.  And the enchilada sauce ties everything together.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

If you’re not entirely sure how to cut into that butternut squash, I took a few photos that should help you out.  It’s quite easy to dice.  And if you have extra squash, roast it and freeze it for later.  I love doing that this time of year, since they are so plentiful and inexpensive at the farmers markets.  Something to think about if you’re like me and stocking your freezer full of summer goodness to get you through the winter.  Be well, my friends.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

The Recipe: Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken

(makes an 11 x 8 casserole)

1 butternut squash, cubed into small pieces (you’ll only use about 1 1/2 cups of it)

1 cup cooked black beans

1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

about 12 corn or flour tortillas, or more depending upon your pan size

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken ( *see note)

2 cups homemade enchilada sauce, plus more for serving

olive oil

salt and pepper

green onions, sour cream, and jalapeños, for garnish

*Note: If you don’t have any cooked chicken on hand, you can easily roast some.  You’ll need about 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.  Place on a small baking sheet lined with foil.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches between 165-170°F when inserted with a thermometer. You can bake the chicken and squash at the same time, the chicken will just need to bake a bit longer.  Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before shredding it

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place the cubed squash on a large baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven.  You will not use all of the squash.  Store remaining squash in the refrigerator to use throughout the week, or freeze.

Next, begin layering the enchilada bake.  The amounts I listed were for a casserole dish that measures 11 x 8.  Use whatever dish you have, but just know that you may need to make adjustments to the amounts.  Start by putting 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom, followed by about 1 cup of roasted squash.  Then place about 4 tortillas on top of that, followed by 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. The next layer will be 4 more tortillas, 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken, and 1/2 cup of roasted squash.  Then, the final layer is 4 tortillas, 1 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce topped with about 1 cup of monterey jack cheese. Slightly push down on the layers, as you go.

Bake uncovered at 375°F for about 40-45 minutes, or until the cheese is a beautiful golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve with extra enchilada sauce, sour cream, chopped green onions, and jalapeños.  Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and are wonderful when served with a little extra enchilada sauce.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by!



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