What Do I Do with Those Leftover Chicken Parts Soup


In my previous post on Chicken Cacciatore I used the meaty parts of a whole chicken and was left with almost 2.25 lbs. of chicken with a little bit of meat and loads of flavor.  So, while the Cacciatore was simmering away,  those leftover parts were well on their way to becoming a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup.   I’m a huge supporter of the movement to reduce the amount of food we waste in this country and this is an example of how with a little bit of effort you can turn one chicken into two great meals and use up the dribbles and drabs hanging out in your refrigerator and pantry.  I have been calling  this type of dish “Refrigerator ……” but I think I may start referring to them as Dribbles & Drabs as I just looked it up and Dribs & Drabs is considered an emphatic phrase.  I’m pretty emphatic that this is a good practice!

It starts with all those bony chicken parts that you have when using a whole chicken for pieces in a recipe.  If you don’t have time to deal with them immediately, just throw them into a plastic bag and toss them in the freezer until you do .  However while the Cacciatore is simmering you should have plenty of time to throw them into a pot or pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put them into a hot oven to roast for approximately an hour.  I usually turn them over about half way during the roasting to make sure all surfaces are nicely browned.


When they are browned, set them aside until they are cool enough to handle.  Pull the meat from the bones.  Refrigerate the meat, put the bones back into the pot and cover with cold water.  


Simmer for 30 minutes or so and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the fat to rise and solidify on top.  If you need to you can separate the bones from the broth and transfer to a smaller container but I’m not fond of washing more dishes than I need to, so I’m going to refrigerate it as is. 


Once the fat is at least semi-solid, skim it from the surface and put it into a small skillet (don’t worry if you take some broth with it).   My Jewish friends would call this schmaltz and even though it goes against the “eat less saturated fat principle”, it delivers great flavor to the soup. As long as you don’t over do it on a daily basis, I’m a believer in using the fat I render from the meats I am cooking.   Bring the stock with the bones to a simmer while you work on the rest of the mise en place.

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For the remaining Dribbles & Drabs in my soup,  I’m using some carrots, onion, mushrooms (an addition because I had more than I needed for the cacciatore) , thyme (fresh today but dried is fine), bay leaf, celery seed (all out of fresh celery which I would normally use in chicken noodle soup),  the chicken I pulled from the bones, some dried egg noodles (on another day I might make fresh or even throw together some dumplings) and some fresh parsley. 


Slice and dice the fresh stuff.  Heat the chicken fat.


Add the fresh stuff along with the dry herbs to the melted fat and cook until the carrots are slightly tender and the onion is translucent.

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Strain the bones and skin from the simmering stock and discard (at this point you’ve taken as much from this chicken as it has to give).

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You should have 6 to 8 cups of stock, if not add some water to make at least 6 cups.  Add the cooked vegetable mixture, the fresh thyme and the chicken to the pot with the stock and bring to a boil.


Once the stock comes to a boil add the noodles and cook according to the package directions.  In the case of the noodle I’m using today that time is around 15 minutes.   The noodles I’m using are Mrs. Millers Old Fashioned Wide Egg Noodles (Extra Fancy Durum Wheat Flour, Fresh Whole Eggs, Water)-Fredericksberg OH.  I think they are quite good for a commercial noodle.   Be sure to taste for salt as you add the noodles, mine needed a teaspoon or so at this point.


And there you are, a hearty Chicken Dribbles & Drabs Soup

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What Do I Do with Those Leftover Chicken Parts Soup (Chicken Noodle Soup)

by: M.B. Einerson

Adapted from Rich Chicken Noodle Soup LA Times 1980’s

Servings: 4 to 6

  • Bony chicken parts from a whole chicken (2 or so lb.)
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cold water to cover bones and skin after meat has been removed
  • Fat skimmed from the top of roasted/simmered chicken parts
  • 1 small or ½ of a large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, sliced or ¼ tsp. celery seed
  • 1 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional but tasty)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme or ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Meat taken from roasted chicken parts
  • 4 to 6 oz. egg noodles
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Minced parsley

Place bony chicken parts in oven safe dish such as a Dutch oven.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400° F for an hour or so, until chicken is nicely browned on all sides.  Remove from oven and let it rest at room temperature until the chicken is cool enough to handle.  Remove the meat from all of the bones and refrigerate,  return the bones and skin to the pot.  Cover with cold water and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Refrigerate the pot overnight or until the fat has risen to the top of the pot and is solid enough to remove.

Skim the fat from the surface and place in medium skillet or saucepan.  Bring the stock and chicken bones to a simmer.  Remove from heat and strain the stock to remove the bones and skin.  Add water to the stock if necessary to make 6 to 8 cups of liquid, return to the pot and set aside.

Heat the skimmed fat, add the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf and sauté until the onion is slightly translucent.  Add the mixture to the soup stock along with the thyme.  Bring to a boil and add the noodles and reserved chicken meat.  Cook at a rolling simmer until the noodles are tender.  Depending on the type of noodle, this will take anywhere from 9 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt (you will likely need to add salt, so taste when you begin to cook the noodles so they will be seasoned) and pepper.  Remove from heat and sprinkle each serving with minced parsley.



Chicken Cacciatore


Whenever I pose the question to my husband is there anything you’re craving, the response nine times out of ten will be Chicken Cacciatore.  It’s a dish we’ve been making for nearly as long as we’ve been together.  It has a form of fried chicken as it’s base, so totally in my wheelhouse since the age of 9 or so.  It’s saucy, one of the base criteria for a great dish in my husband’s mind. Last but certainly not least is that it’s even better as leftovers than it is when freshly made.  So even if you are cooking for two make the entire recipe!  The other cool thing is that if you choose to make it with a whole chicken, you will have the makings for some great chicken noodle soup as well.

Over the years I’ve tried numerous variations,  all tasty, but when it comes right down to it, our favorite is based on the one we discovered so many years ago in the Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook.  As with most of the recipes we’ve made from this gem of a cookbook  it has ingredients that are and have been readily available in nearly every grocery store across the country since it was published in 1980. Yet, somehow each recipe seems to remain true to the spirit and flavor of it’s origins.  We made it for the couple who were to become my in-laws in Montevideo MN on the evening before we announced our engagement.  And believe me Montevideo was not the culinary capital of the US either then or now.        

The other aspect that makes me love this cookbook  so much is that the heading of each recipe gives a brief history or some insight into the recipe.  The recipe names are even subtitled with the name in the language  of it’s origin-in this case the recipe is Pollo alla Cacciatora which translates to Chicken Hunter’s Style in Italian.  The legend the heading explains, tells that it was invented by a hunter’s wife who’s husband returned home with only a few mushrooms and olives. I find it totally believable as I’ve witnessed first hand how inventive  Italian cooks are with a few simple ingredients…..(if you check Amazon I think you can still find copies for sale, I’ve given a copy to each of my children)

I’ve made this dish so many times, it now pretty much falls into one of those “cooking without a recipe recipes ” and can vary slightly depending on the ingredients I have on hand  i.e. what’s in the garden, refrigerator and pantry.  However, for this post I’ll  go back to the original and recreate it as written* and leave it to you to make it your own with the ingredients you have and your inspiration.   The next time it hits our table I’ll post it with the minor changes I’ve been making over the years that were never recorded.  For example it could use a bit more sauce and the addition of some wine is not without merit!  However,  the original that I give you here is pretty darn tasty just as it was back in 1980.

The ingredients are pretty simple and I’ve used everything from canned mushrooms (oh my I know -but in rural Minnesota in the 1980’s fresh were unheard of) and plain black olives because who ever heard of Kalamata.  And yes, I’ve even been known to use boneless, skinless chicken-don’t do it unless you are in an extreme hurry.  I’m convinced that good quality bone-in, skin on chicken that you cut up your self is worth the effort.  If you need a tutorial on cutting up a chicken see the post https://tablemb.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/mexico-city-enchiladas/  


For this recipe I started with a whole fryer that was close to 5 lbs. in weight.  After I cut it into leg and thigh portions and 7 portions  of breast (a wishbone, and each half into three pieces) I had around 2.75 lb of chicken for the Cacciatore.  Perfect for feeding 6 to 8 people or the two of us for at least three meals.  The remaining 2.25 pounds of composed of wings, back etc. will become chicken noodle soup.   That’s a lot of good food from a chicken that cost me $7.73


Next comes the mise en place for all of the flavorings-mushrooms (this time they are shitake but I’ve used white button and cremini over the years, all good), sliced kalamata olives, onion, garlic, whole peeled tomatoes in puree (today they are fire roasted because that’s what I had in the cupboard).   I much prefer whole peeled rather than  diced in a saucy dish like this,  they break down into a great sauce.  Just cut them up with some shears.  Onions, garlic and some dried herbs.  In a simmered dish like this I actually prefer the flavor of dried vs. fresh oregano 


All of these are going in at once, so just put them in a bowl and set aside.  A little unusual not to sauté the onion,garlic and mushrooms before adding the tomatoes but it works!


The chicken pieces get dredged in the flour, salt and pepper mixture and then into a large pan with the olive oil.  If you don’t have a pan large enough to brown all of the chicken in an even layer with a little space between each piece, do it in batches.


After the chicken is nicely browned on all sides but not cooked through, remove it from the pan and spoon off the excess fat.  Take care to leave all the little brown bits of flavor!

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Add the chicken back to the pan and top with the all the remaining ingredients except the parsley.  Cover and simmer for around 30 minutes or until all of the chicken pieces are cooked through.

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When the chicken is almost done, cook some long pasta.  Remember that excess olive oil and chicken fat you removed from the pan?  Use a bit of that to toss with the cooked pasta-it’s loaded with great flavor.  Remember, this is a sometimes dish, you can go for just olive oil for the everyday food.


Sprinkle the chicken with some chopped fresh parsley and pour some light red wine.

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So saucy and flavorful, no wonder it’s made it’s way to my table for over three decades!!

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I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  

buon appetito


Chicken Cacciatore

by: M.B. Einerson

Ever so barely adapted from Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook

Servings: 6 to 8

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 ½ to 3 lb. broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
  • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes *
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup water (plus a little more to rinse out the cans of tomato products)
  • ¼ cup sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt (this one  thing I did omit, as I find older recipes to be a bit high in salt for my taste these days-so leave it out and the add some at the end if you feel it needs it)
  • 1 tsp. crushed oregano leaves (Greek, Turkish etc. not Mexican)
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Snipped parsley
  • Hot cooked spaghetti

Mix flour, salt and pepper.  Coat chicken with flour mixture.  Heat oil in 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven until hot.  Cook chicken over medium heat until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.  Drain fat from skillet.

Mix tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, water, olives, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, pepper and the bay leaf; break up tomatoes with fork.  Pour over chicken.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until thickest pieces of chicken are done, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley; serve with spaghetti.

* the only thing to note is that there has been a bit of slippage in can volumes between 1980 and now.   The original recipe uses 1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes which have become a 14.5 ounce can!!   In this case I actually weighed the 16 ounces from a 28 ounce can so I could be precise-but normally I would simply throw in the entire 28 ounces.

buon appetito


Mexico City Enchiladas

When I say “I’m thinking of making a batch of enchiladas.” the first thing my husband says is “Mexico City Enchiladas?”  What last weeks Chicken Enchilada Verdes lack in authenticity, Mexico City Enchiladas make up for in spades.


The source is another of my go to cookbooks – Mexican Cooking by Cynthia Sheer.   It’s one I gave to my then “boy friend-to become husband” for Valentines Day because it had a recipe for Huevos Machaca.  I’m not sure we ever actually tried to make it because nothing could ever live up to the dish as served at Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac  in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.  If you are ever in LA, it is a place you should try to  visit.  Their claim to fame was the  MANUEL’S SPECIAL BURRITO made with Original Chile Verde Pork It weighed in at 5 lb. and would easily feed a family.   But it was the #9 Machacha dinner that was my favorite.  I loved leaving the line for entry (and there was always a long one) to watch the chef’s sauteeing the shredded beef with  onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, eggs & melted cheddar cheese.  It was their beef that made the dish so unique-aged and air-dried and produced in the northern part of Mexico.  My mouth waters just with the memory.

Even though I never made the Huevos Machaca from Mexican Cooking,  I have made many of it’s recipes and this enchilada is likely the most repeated.   It’s not quite as labor intensive as the Chicken Enclilada Verdes and is certainly a leaner, healthier dish.

The ingredients are pretty basic-Chicken ,spices, onion & garlic, chilies, tomatoes, tortillas and cheese.


I love that this recipe starts with a whole chicken!  Of course you can start with pre-cut chicken parts (no boneless, skinless please) but a whole chicken is a good deal (often under $1.00/lb) and there is just something satisfying about mastering the art of cutting up the bird.   It doesn’t have to be pretty, you just need to get it into manageable pieces that will cook evenly. 

I like to use both a chef’s knife and a pair of kitchen shears on a cutting board with a trough to catch the juices.


Position the bird with the tail toward you.  Pull the leg/thigh away from the body and slice through the skin and flesh until you get to the joint.  You should be able to pop it and cut through the center of the joint with your knife or the shear.   Repeat this same process with the wing.  


Turn the bird over on its breast and using shears, cut through the fine rib bones on both sides of the back.  This will give you one long piece of mostly bones that will give your dish tons of flavor.  You should be able to see the spot where you can cut it into two pieces.  Then cut along the breast bone/cartilage to cut the breast into two pieces.

Like I said, it doesn’t need to be pretty, it just needs to be cut so it can fit into your pot in one layer.

Sprinkle it with salt, cumin, Mexican oregano and red pepper.


Add chopped onion, fire-roasted chilies


then the tomatoes and their liquid and the tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is very tender.


Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the sauce.  I put it into the dish I will use to bake the enchiladas. 


While the chicken is cooling, puree the cooking liquid into a smooth sauce with an immersion blender, food processor or blender.   Be careful if you are transferring to a blender etc. and be especially careful if blending a hot liquid.  I highly recommend investing in an immersion blender!  If the sauce seems very thin at this point, bring it back to a simmer and reduce to the consistency of tomato sauce.


 When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred into bite size pieces – you should have about 3 cups of chicken.  Add the tomato, onion and juice that was clinging to the chicken pieces to the bowl with the shredded chicken.  Then stir in 1/2 cup of the blended sauce.


Back to the baking dish that was holding your cooling chicken.  Pour 1 cup of the remaining sauce into it and spread in an even layer.


Today I’m using blue corn tortillas because they caught my eye when I was in the Mexican market, but any corn tortilla will do.  If you can find some that are produced near you go for it, they will be much fresher.  

Instead of the traditional method of heating the tortillas in oil prior to filling, I give them a quick dip in the remaining simmering sauce.  Dip them just long enough to make them soft and pliable.  Alternative is to heat a stack of six for 30 seconds or so in a microwave.

Fill each tortilla with approximately 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture


Roll or fold in half and place arrange on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Cover enchiladas with some of the remaining sauce.  I like to keep a bit of extra sauce for serving. Bake, uncovered until bubbly and heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.


Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and thinly sliced red onion and a little cilantro if you like

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A few chips, some black beans, fresh tomato, avocado, a dollop of sour cream and of course a margarita Yum!!  And best of all I’ve got great leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow.  

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Mexico City Enchiladas

(Enchiladas Mexicanas)

by: M.B. Einerson

 Adapted from Mexican Cooking by Cynthia Scheer 

Servings: 6 generous

  • 1 whole frying chicken, cut up or chicken parts 2 ½ to 3 lbs.
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp crumbled oregano (Mexican is best)
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 1 small dried red pepper, crushed or ¼ to ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 can green chilies – 4 to 7 oz. depending on your taste
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. can diced or whole peeled tomatoes (the original recipe used a 1 lb. can where oh where have those extra two ounces gone)
  • 1 can tomato sauce the original recipe calls for an 8 oz. can, but I use a 15 oz. can because we like lots of sauce. When I can find it, I substitute a Mexican tomato sauce called El Pato.
  • 12  corn tortillas
  • ½ to 1 cup crumbled Queso fresco , Feta or shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 thin red onion slices, separated into rings (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Sour cream, Mexican crema or crème fraiche (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)

Arrange chicken pieces in a layer in a large skillet or Dutch oven.  Sprinkle with salt, cumin, oregano, chopped onion, red pepper, garlic and green chilies.  Pour on the tomatoes and their liquid and the tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the chicken is very tender.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the sauce.

Pre-heat oven to 375° F

While the chicken is cooling, puree the cooking liquid and solids into a smooth sauce with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender.  No worries if you don’t have one of those power tools, a chunky sauce will taste mighty fine as well.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred into bite sized pieces.  You should have about 3 cups of chicken.  Add any of the tomato, onion and juice that was clinging to the chicken into the bowl with the shredded chicken.

Mix ½ cup of the reduced sauce with the chicken.  Pour 1 cup of the remaining sauce into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Dip the tortillas one at a time in the remaining hot sauce to soften slightly and fill each with approximately ¼ cup of the shredded chicken.  Roll or fold in half and arrange on top of the sauce in the baking dish.

Cover enchiladas with some of the remaining sauce. I like to keep a bit of extra sauce for serving. Bake, uncovered until bubbly and heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese, red  onion and cilantro.  Serve with sour cream and avocado and extra sauce.



Chicken Enchiladas Verdes


These Chicken Enchiladas Verdes,  although not high on authenticity,  definitely  fall into the category of favorites at my table and top the scale on luscious .    The original recipe appeared in the December 1988 issue of Bon Appetit and sadly to say cannot be found on either the Epicurious or Bon Appetit sites today.  What it lacks in authenticity it makes up for in solid comfort.  So with a nod to Cinco do Mayo (yes once again I’m blogging and making dinner at the same time) I give you Chicken Enchiladas Verdes!

Like many recipes of its type, lasagna included, it is a recipe that can be made in stages so that the cook can enjoy it for dinner without spending the whole day in the kitchen.  You could also take some short cuts and use a rotisserie chicken for the filling and stock or broth without the addition of the veggies.  It won’t be quite as tasty, but still pretty darn good.   It also makes a big pan of enchiladas, so you may want to cut it in half if you’re not feeding friends or don’t like leftovers.  A special someone however has been known to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The original recipe in Bon Appetit  was from an article titled  Bye-Bye Turkey. Hello Encliladas! in the section Cooking for Friends.  It included a menu and game plan for a Christmas feast with a southwestern accent complete with the enchiladas, a romaine salad, sopaipillas and pumpkin flans for dessert.  The magazine itself was comprised of 208 pages with no less than 130 recipes!  My comments in the margins indicate that I made the Romaine Salad with Avocados, Oranges and Fried Chilies as well, but it’s the Enchiladas that have endured over the years and remained in the memory of one of my most special table companions (although I’m thinking she wasn’t quite ready for enchiladas the first time it was on my table).

We’ll start with the chicken, a few aromatics and some stock.  Bone-in, skin on chicken will give you the best flavor


The poaching method for this one is a very gentle one.  Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the chicken stand until cooked through – 165°F.  This makes a Dutch oven ideal for the job as it retains its heat during the stand time.  If you have a thinner stockpot or pan, you will likely need to simmer for a bit longer – I’d say 10 minutes minimum.

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When the chicken is done, remove it from the stock, pull it off the bone and shred into bit-size pieces.  You can do this a day in advance. Refrigerate the stock with the aromatics and the chicken separately.


On day 2, my next first step is to grate the cheese!  Make sure the Jack cheese is nice and cold for optimal grating.  


Now you can gather the ingredients for the sauce and the enchiladas and pre-heat the oven to 400°F


Warm the stock and transfer the aromatics to the food processor that you just grated the cheese in – no need to wash in between!  You are going to have plenty of dishes to wash, so conserve where you can.


In another saucepan melt the butter and stir in the flour – you’re making a roux.  It’s a blond roux, so cook it just until its light golden color and then stir in the hot stock and cook over medium heat until it’s slightly thickened and the floury flavor is cooked out.  Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

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While the sauce is cooling, start sauteing the onions in the vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Cook them until they are soft and translucent.


Next add the spinach and cook just until it is slightly wilted-you want to keep that vibrant green color.

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Transfer the spinach mixture to the food processor which has the aromatics from the broth, add the sour cream, green onions and 1/2 can of the chilies.  Blend until smooth


Add as much of the cooled sauce to the processor or blender as possible (there is usually a maximum line on the food processor)and blend again.  If your food processor won’t hold all of the sauce, no worries.  Simply stir the blended  sauce into the rest of the sauce and go from there.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the rest of the chilies if  you like.


Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Spread 3/4 cup of the blended sauce over the bottom of the baking dish and add 1/2 cup of the sauce along with 2 1/2 cups of the grated cheese to the shredded chicken.  Mix well.


You’re on the home stretch now!  Note that the traditional method of preparing the tortillas for filling is to heat them in oil until soft and pliable.  There is plenty of fat in this recipe, so I opt to microwave 6 tortillas at a time until they are soft – about 30 seconds in my microwave.  Lay them out on a cutting board and fill with the chicken/sauce/cheese mixture.

Roll them up and arrange seam side down in the baking dish.


Spoon the remaining sauce over the filled enchiladas, cover with foil and bake until heated through.  It will take about as much time as it will take you to get the pots and pans cleaned and dishes in the dishwasher!


Remove foil, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake until the cheese melts-about 5 minutes.


Ready for dinner!  I like to serve it with frijoles- either refritos or de olla and black are my favorite and a bit of salsa or pico de gallo on top.





Chicken Enchilada Verdes

by: M.B. Einerson

Barely adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1988

 Servings: 6 generous

Filling *

  • 2 to 3 bone-in, skin on chicken breast halves – 2 1/2 lb.
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ large onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped or 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 4 green onions, cut into pieces (use both white and green parts)
  • ½ to 1 four oz. can diced jalapeno or mild green chilies, grained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ lb. Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • Vegetable oil (optional)
  • 12 – 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Salsa


Place all ingredients in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the chicken stand until cooked through, about 1 hour.  Remove chicken from broth and cool slightly.  Remove skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat.  Put in a medium size bowl and chill.

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Grate Cheese


Transfer the aromatics from the stock to the bowl of the food processor or blender.

Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan or Dutch oven over low heat.  Add flour and cook until light brown, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the reserved chicken cooking liquid.  Increase the heat to medium and cook until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.  Cool.

Heat 1 ½ tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to the food processor or blender.  Add sour cream, green onions and ½ can chilies.  Puree until smooth.   Add as much of the cooled sauce to the processor or blender as possible (there is usually a maximum line on the food processor)and blend again.  If your food processor won’t hold all of the sauce, no worries.  Simply stir the blended  sauce into the rest of the sauce and go from there.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the rest of the chilies if  you like.

Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom.  Add ½ cup sauce to the chicken along with 2 ½ cups grated cheese.

** Pour ½ to 1 inch of vegetable oil into a small to medium skillet.  Heat over low-medium heat.  Add 1 tortilla and cook until softened, about 5 seconds.  Drain on paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas. **

Divide the chicken filling among the tortillas and roll up.  Arrange seam side down in buttered dish.  If baking immediately, spoon remaining sauce over the filled enchiladas. Cover with foil. (This part can also be prepared 1 day ahead.  Refrigerate the enchiladas and sauce separately.  Bring the enchiladas to room temperature before baking.)

Bake covered in the 400°F oven until just heated through, about 20 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.  Serve with salsa



* The filling can be prepared a day in advance.  Chill the shredded chicken and broth separately.

** Note this step can be skipped if you want to reduce the amount of fat in the recipe a bit.  Simply put the stack of tortillas in the microwave and heat until soft and pliable.  You’ll need to work quickly, so they don’t get stiff again, but you can do it!!