Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekend Cooking; Savoring Chicken

(fabulous enchiladas)

Last Sunday I cooked a whole chicken in the oven, a very traditional Sunday meal for my family. When I talk about chicken here I only mean a local farmer's chicken-you can use what ever kind of chicken you like but mine always come from a farm.  We had plenty left over and instead of just turning the whole thing into chicken soup like I usually do  I picked off several large chunks, shredded it and turned it into chicken enchiladas.  I looked through several recipes to make it and I realized with an odd clarity that I'd never, ever made enchiladas before.  I love Mexican food and make tostados, tacos, and burritos but enchiladas just seemed so overly cheesy.  So why did I change my mind?  I don't know.  I guess it was the large can of enchilada sauce staring at me from the back of the cupboard.  The chicken and the enchilada sauce just came together.

My kids were leary at first but took a few tentative bites.  Shockingly enough they both loved them and had second helpings.  Groovy Girl usually does a lot of scraping and picking of my recipes, separating the what she is willing to eat and what will remain on the plate scrapped to the edges or on her napkin.  Teenage Boy eats whatever because he's well, a teenage boy, but his look can range from sullen to less-sullen depending on the meal.  He ate his entire plates-worth and asked greedily for more. Dad wasn't home to beat him to second helpings and we managed to eat the whole dish after I set aside the last two enchiladas so he could eat between meetings.  This will definetely be added to my regular rotation as they were super easy-it helped that the chicken was already cooked) and every once in awhile my mind drifts off as I think about other combinations for another round of enchiladas.  If you have a favorite please leave me a link. 

Yesterday I started cold water bubbling with the remaining chicken and half a dozen bay leaves before I left for school.  Stopping at the co-op on my way home I bought fresh celery, two large carrots, and noodles for the pot.  The house smelled wonderful as I stepped in the back door after a long day at work.  Homemade chicken soup is truly a God-send and yesterday was one of them.  Even though I felt a bit under the weather it was easy to stand in the kitchen and chop carrots, onion, celery, garlic to toss in the pot with coconut oil slightly simmering at the bottom of the pan.  I picked at the chicken bones  (hot, hot, hot) extracting as much meat as possible and dumped the meat in the soup pot and added 6 cups of the savory broth.

I crawled into bed after that and just let the soup blend together without my watchful eye.  By the time my husband walked in the door he added the noodles, waited, and served.  Breaking from tradition I ate mine in bed.  I feel so much better today, warding off what ever was trying to take hold of my body yesterday.  Lack of sleep is a major problem as I struggle through insomnia.  A good night's sleep and a bowl of chicken noodle soup did the trick though and today things look much brighter. 

What did you cook up this week?

Recipes used throughout the week:

Chicken Enchilda from Home-based Mom
(we had a good email chat about plastic wrap in the microwave)

(next time I will make my own sauce)

(I looked at Kevin's recipe before I left work for inspiration
but just followed my own instincts at home)

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads weekend cooking weekly meme. 
Click her link to find many other food related posts.


Heather said...

These look wonderful. I can certainly understand why they instantly became a favourite. definitely cries out as comfort food to me. I must make these and even try making my own sauce. Thanks.

Marie said...

Yum! The homemade chicken soup sounds especially delicious. To me, it not only cures the body, but it soothes the soul. I'm glad to hear you are feeling better.

Peggy Ann said...

Wonders can be accomplished with a cooked chicken! Thanks for the links!

Beth F said...

Chicken noodle soup in bed is bound to perk up anyone :). Glad you're on the mend. And yes, I often forget how great a whole cooked chicken can be -- three easy, tasty meals.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful food week. We love enchiladas and chicken soup in our house, thanks for sharing these.

Anonymous said...

Ooh I love the enchiladas idea. I'm always trying to use all the leftovers after a sunday roast, I even use the bones to make stock; thanks for these recipes!