What do you get when you combine jalapenos, cheese, and chicken?
Jalapeno Popper Chicken, that’s what!
Let me tell you, this stuff is warm, filling, and unbelievably good.
With our warmer temperatures, it takes a little longer for Fall to actually get here, but when it does, it arrives in a riot of beautiful colors.
I am a huge fan of Mexican/Tex-Mex cuisine of any type – flan, chimichangas, chile rellenos, sopapillas, anything with tomatillos, etc. In fact, if I never had to eat any other type of cuisine, I’d be perfectly happy. But I can’t stomach Mexican fast food, so I started making my favorite dishes at home years ago. And even though a ton of really great, authentic Mexican restaurants have opened up in our area in the past several years, I still enjoy doing it myself.
My absolute favorite is Swiss style chicken enchiladas or (testing out my very rusty high school Spanish here) Enchiladas Suizas con Pollo – hope I got that right. Even my mom, who is notoriously picky and barely likes anything besides hamburgers or fried chicken, has admitted they’re pretty tasty. You have no idea how big of a compliment that is from her 🙂
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (reserve about a cup of the broth)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 small can of roasted green chiles, diced
3/4 c Milk
Salt (to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste)
Taco Seasoning (to taste), recipe below
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour *
Grated Monterrey Jack Cheese (or Pepper Jack, Colby Jack, Swiss, whatever you like or have on hand)
4 oz of sour cream
* I make this with both wheat tortillas and wheat flour, so mine may appear a little darker.
6 tsp chili powder
5 tsp paprika
4 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1) Stir together all of the ingredients and store in a sealed container.
1) Heat about 1 – 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the diced onions and bell peppers and cook until the onions begin to turn translucent. Then, add half of the diced chiles, all of the shredded chicken, the taco seasoning (I usually add about 2 – 3 Tbsp to the chicken mixture), and salt and pepper to taste. Stir together well. Add about half of the reserved chicken broth and about 1/4 cup of milk or cream. Stir together, and allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2) In a smaller skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour. Allow it to cook for a couple of minutes. Then, add the remaining chicken broth and about 1/2 a cup of milk or cream. Stir together well. Now, stir in the taco seasoning to taste (I usually add about 2 -3 Tbsp to this, as well) and add the rest of the diced chiles. Stir in the sour cream and about 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Let the sauce simmer until the cheese has completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3) Microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds so they’re more pliable. Place a couple of large spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla, sprinkle a little cheese on top, and roll the tortilla up. Place each rolled tortilla in a baking dish, seam side down.
4) Pour the white sauce on top of the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top and bake in a 350F degree preheated oven for about 20 – 30 minutes.
I bought a new stock pot to cook Chicken and Dumplings in next week because the old one had begun sticking very badly. Of course, I just had to test it out (afterall, it wouldn’t do to ruin a whole pot of dumplings on Thanksgiving Day just because of untested cookware).
Chicken Wiggle is one of those dishes that is perfect for a cool night or when you just don’t feel well. It’s a little thicker than soup and maybe even stew; it’s about the same consistency as Chicken and Dumplings. In fact, the recipe that I use is very close to our Chicken and Dumplings recipe (with a few minor differences). You can substitute turkey instead of the chicken for Turkey Wiggle. I attended a small public school growing up, and Turkey Wiggle along with cranberry sauce was always served around the holidays in the cafeteria, and it was a very welcome improvement over the usual school lunches. There was a running joke on Turkey Wiggle day that the dish got its name because after taking a bite you could feel the noodles wiggle all the way down. Of course, you can’t feel them, but it sure made a lot of sense back then : )
4-5 chicken breasts
Reserved chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bag of egg noodles
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 can of carrots, drained and rinsed
2 cans of english peas, drained and rinsed
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1) In a pot, boil the chicken in water. While it’s boiling, make sure to season the water with salt and black pepper. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the broth and allow it to cool, then debone it and either shred or cut it into large bite-sized pieces. Strain the broth.
|Just after adding the noodles.|
2) In a stock pot, combine the chicken broth and 2 cups of water. Bring the broth back to a boil and add in the egg noodles.
|Just after adding the chicken and onions.|
3) Allow the noodles to cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken pieces, onion, cream of chicken, and cream of celery. Make sure to stir in the cream of chicken and the cream of celery very well.
|Just after adding the carrots and English peas.|
4) Stir in the carrots, English peas, and the hard boiled egg slices. At this time you can season the Chicken Wiggle with a little more salt if you want to (because there are a few canned foods in it and the broth has salt in it, too, I usually only add a small amount of salt or none at all towards the end; so make sure to taste it before you add any, just in case). Allow the Chicken Wiggle to simmer on medium heat for about twenty minutes. Just before it’s done, you can add a little more ground black pepper (we like quite a bit of pepper in ours, so the amount I usually add is about 7-10 full turns of a pepper mill).
|A hot bowl of Chicken Wiggle.|
One of my mother’s favorite dishes is a simple variation on the King Ranch Chicken recipe. I don’t know why, but Mama (I admit it, I still call her Mama) who doesn’t like cheese or hot peppers and will not eat dishes containing either, loves Mexican Chicken. She’d probably eat it two or three times a week if she could get me to cook it.
I’ll admit I haven’t cooked it in a couple of months. So, one night last week, Mama had had it, and she put her foot down and demanded I fix her favorite dish for supper. Allright. . . allright, I’m exaggerating. She didn’t quite do all of that, but she did go grocery shopping and have all of the ingredients waiting for me that afternoon. I took it as a subtle nudge that that was what was for supper.
Here we go. . .
5-6 chicken breasts, cooked, shredded or diced into bite-sized pieces
1 (10.5 oz ) can of cream of chicken
1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of mushroom
1 (10 oz) can of Ro-Tel Mild diced tomatoes & green chiles
1/2 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (8 oz) bag of Velveeta Shreds cheese
1 (11.5) bag of Doritos nacho cheese tortilla chips, crushed
|One of the main ingredients, chicken.|
1) I usually boil the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, of course, but you can also roast it if you want. Then pull it off the bone and either, shred it or dice it into bite-sized pieces.
|Crushed tortilla chips.|
2) Crush the tortilla chips, then spread evenly into a casserole dish. Make sure to reserve some chips for the top of the dish.
3) Spread the cooked chicken evenly on top of the chips.
4) Combine the cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, evaporated milk, & the Ro-Tel tomatoes & green chiles. Then, spread the mixture evenly on top of the chicken.
5) Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
|Just before going in the oven.|
6) Top with the remaining chips. Bake in a 350F preheated oven for about 30 minutes (give or take) or until the chips just begin to brown & the cheese is melted.