Chicken Enchiladas, Monday Night Football + T.V. Dinners

September 26, 2011

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It’s Fall. The start of a new school year, being on a schedule, homework(grrrr), packing lunches, and the change of the season. I live in a house filled with boy energy. It’s loud, it’s rough, and my husband has dubbed it perfectly; a mini frat house.

My frat boys look forward to the fall season and all the sports that comes along with it.  Monday night football is no exception. One rule that I prefer to not break is that we sit down to dinner each night, as a family, and discuss our day.  It’s a great way to bring the family back together and can be quite calming and soothing.  As my kids get older and their activities grow and expand, gathering around the dinner table becomes a bit more challenging.

My boys love football.  Eli is playing in his first Pop Warner tackle football league (go Culver City Bruins) and Isaac is playing flag football in the local park league(Isaac scored the only touchdown this past weekend, winning the game for his team).  Sunday mornings the T.V. toggles between stations to catch the scores of their favorite teams, and cheering can be heard from the sidewalk outside our house.

My kids are not allowed any sort of media during the week, but Monday nights have become the exception.  Not only do my kids get to turn the T.V. on, but we don’t have a traditional weeknight meal.  Instead, my family has dubbed Monday nights “T.V. dinner night” and it is my job to create meals that can be eaten without using a knife.  My only requirement is that they help prep, eat over their plate, bus their own dishes, and do some of the clean up.  So far, they have held up their end of the bargain.

Rather than creating my normal soup/salad, veggie, starch, and protein dinner, Monday nights consist of stadium type food. Stadium food with out all of the fat and grease.  One of our favorites are my homemade chicken enchiladas.  Served with a big salad and a side of guacamole – everyone is happy. Including M who usually has leftovers for lunch the next day.

Chicken Enchiladas with a Red Chili Sauce
yield: 3 quarts of sauce

When I make my chicken stock, I reserve the chicken and shred it and use it to make this dish.  That way I am getting about 4 meals out of one(making my weekly meal planning that much easier). A roasted chicken also works great or even a store bought roasted chicken.  I use half of the sauce and freeze the rest for another meal.

3 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbsp. chili powder
4 tsp. ground coriander
4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
1 Tbsp. honey
1 28 oz. + 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
12 oz. shredded chicken
16 corn tortillas
6 oz. each shredded jack and white cheddar cheese
chopped scallions for garnish

• if not using pre-cooked chicken, roast 2-3 chicken breasts with bones.  place chicken breasts in a glass baking pan.  rub with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  place chicken in a pre-heated 375* oven and roast for about 35-40 minutes.  remove from oven and cool slightly.  when cool enough to handle, shred chicken using two forks.  discard the bones and the skin or save them to make a batch of homemade stock.
• heat oil in a large stock pot and add the onions.  saute until slightly browned.
• add the garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and honey and cook until you start to smell the spices, about 1 minute.
• add the tomato sauce and about 1 3/4 cups water.
• bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
• meanwhile, while sauce is cooking, spray one of your stove top burners with cooking spray. place a tortilla on the fire for about 1 minute per side(I like mine a tiny bit charred/blackened).  set aside, wrapped in a kitchen towel. repeat with each tortilla.
• place a wire strainer over a large glass bowl.  strain sauce through the strainer, pressing down on the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon to get as much sauce/pulp through the strainer. discard the contents in the strainer.
• mix one cup of sauce with your shredded chicken.
• cover the bottom of your ceramic baking dish with a ladle full of sauce. set aside
• place 1-2 tablespoons of chicken in the center of your tortilla. sprinkle some of the shredded cheese. roll up your tortilla and place in prepared baking dish, seam side down.  repeat with the rest of your tortillas.
• generously ladle a layer of sauce over your rolled tortillas and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese and top with scallions.
• cover loosely with foil and bake in a pre-heated 300* oven for 20-25 minutes.
• turn the oven up to broil and place your baking dish under the broiler for about 2 minutes or until your cheese starts to bubble.
• serve immediately.
• the leftovers make a great breakfast; scrammbled into to eggs with a bit more sauce.

Stadium food: Our Family Favorites
The Perfect Burger | Homemade Stove Top Mac ‘n Cheese
Homemade Pizza |Quinao Falafel Balls | Quinoa Cakes
Potato Tortilla | Homemade Sloppy Joes + Yam Fries

More Stadium Food on the Web:
Cheesy Beefy Pasta- Hamburger Helper Style – Deliciously Organic
BLT Bites – Tidy Mom
Mexican Chicken + Rice – Elana’s Pantry
Baked Pasta Shells with Beef + Spinach – Cookin Canuck
Grilled Philly Steak Sandwich – Three Many Cooks
Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadilla – Weelicious
Baked Lemon Spaghetti – Recipe Girl


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria September 26, 2011 at 8:46 am

I love enchiladas! These are perfect for football night!


2 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] September 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

Great round-up. I have been looking for a good sloppy joe recipe, as well as a enchilada recipe. You must have read my mind!


3 Lucy Lean September 26, 2011 at 9:23 am

So much good advice packed within this post – reminds me to keep the TV off during the week too. There’s not enough time for everything these days!


4 Nancy@acommunaltable September 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

Great round up of “stadium recipes” and I love how you’ve embraced their desire to watch football and still managed to work it into a family activity – way to go Susan!! These enchiladas are a perfect “in front of the TV dinner”!!! Enjoy those nights with your boys … they go all too quickly!!


5 Esi September 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

I like your roundup of “stadium recipes”


6 Kim September 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I love enchiladas. It’s a great and simple meal. I really have to try your red chile sauce.


7 Marla {family fresh cooking} September 28, 2011 at 6:44 am

Susan, my family would go nuts for these enchiladas! Perfect for tailgating too 🙂


8 Georgia Pellegrini September 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Great recipes for the season. I’m starting to get into football myself now that I live near UT and tailgating is a religion!


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