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Monday, November 1, 2010

whole chickens and what to do with them!

Dustin has already mentioned the joys of making chicken stock but I will reiterate here and add my additions.

So first of all I managed to find two whole chickens packaged together in a bag for about 3 dollars. I bought them and froze them and didn't do anything with them for about a month.

This weekend I decided that I had a free afternoon so I got the biggest pot I had and one of the chickens (still frozen) and put it in the pot with some water. This is to thaw it enough to cut into pieces. After getting it nice and warm at least on the outside I pulled it out of the pot and cut it up into the classic anatomical chicken pieces. These went back in the pot along with an onion some dried chillis and other sundries (a bayleaf or two would be ideal here but I don't have any). Now you bring this to a boil and let it simmer for hours and hours hours. When it's tasty it's done. Now strain into bowl and put the chicken bits aside to cool. The stock can then be put into an appropriate container for refrigerating. (There will be lots of fat on top the next morning. If you care, lift it off and throw it away). Once the chicken pieces are cool pick all the meat off with your hands (only way) and reserve this too. Throw out the onion and other flavour agents you used. Their work is done.

If you want to actually make chicken soup the stock and the meat bits go back into your pot with the veggies etc. in your soup.

I didn't want to make soup. SO I made enchiladas. You can do many other mexican inspired things that use already cooked chicken.

Here is how I made enchiladas using Joy of Cooking like instructions with the ingredients interspersed:

Sauce: Dice finely Onion, garlic, dried chilli (a mexican kind preferably). This is a job for a food processor if you have one. Now fry this mixture in oil until aromatic. At this point add a four ounce can of tomato paste and about a cup and a half of chicken stock. Add a few teaspoons of dry oregano and a short teaspoon of cumin. Stir it all up and bring to a boil letting it reduce to a slightly thick consistency (but make sure you still have a fair amount of sauce).

Now for the fun part. Take that cooked chicken and grate a little cheese into it. Pour enough sauce in to evenly incorporate. Now take a brownie pan and corn tortillas, estimate how many enchiladas will fit into your pan (probably about 8, not the whole package but oh well). Dip each tortilla in the sauce, spoon in the filling and fold it over (into an enchilada like shape), putting it in the pan. Repeat until the pan is full. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and grate cheese over that generously. Bake in the oven until bubbly.

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