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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Goodbye, January ~ Hello Comfort!

 
Why hello there! Just in time for my three-year blogging anniversary, I was inclined to do a post highlighting a beautiful standing rib roast, with all the trimmings, and a peppercorn gravy to boot! However - when I really thought long and hard about it, I thought that in this economy -  is that what people really need, a ridiculously expensive roast? Ahem. That would be no. Soooooo...by way of explanation, THIS is what I found in the fridge one frigid (pun intended) January morning...
 
 
 
Leftover enchiladas. Now, to most people, the obvious solution would be to re-cover the tray with foil, place the whole thing in the oven on low, and enjoy the enchiladas again. OK, here is my problem.....when I see that tray of enchiladas (which were perfectly delicious, mind you) my brain screams "NOOOOOOO!" "Not again!". I know, I have a problem. Seriously, I absolutely, positoooovly, HATE and DISLIKE leftovers. What do I detest more? Waste. So....inspired by lovely Daughter S., (plus the fact that we both love chili to the point of obsession),  I decided to remove the chicken (Free Bird, get it?) from its corn-based wrapper, and make something new with it! The best part is that since I was using leftover (yikes!) chicken, this turned out to be a quick-cooking, awesome re-use.  First, let us assemble the players for what I'm calling "Free Bird Chicken Chili".
 
 
From left to right, chicken stock, chili powder, salt, garlic, onion, cumin, Creole seasoning, pepper, oregano, great northern beans, diced tomatoes.  First, dice your onion and garlic pretty small...
 
 
 
Then, put in your saute' pan with some canola oil. Note: I did not use any jalapeno in this mixture, because there is already an entire diced one in the enchilada mixture..
 
 
Saute' the garlic & onion on low heat, with perhaps a dash of salt until tender, but not browned...about 10 minutes.  Then, turn the chicken from inside the enchiladas (as well as much of the sauce your can get) on to a plate.
 
 
Not pretty, I know...but hang in there, it gets better. When the onions are soft and translucent...
 
 
Empty your plate of "freed bird" into the saucepan with the chicken stock..(I'm not having fun with that metaphor, or anything).
 
 
Then, add your canned tomatoes and beans. I like to keep the liquid from the canned items in the dish, as I feel like as the chili cooks down, it adds to the flavor...
 
 
Now, throw in your spices...
 
 
Then, stir to combine, bring to a good bubble, turn to low and let simmer. I kept mine uncovered because I was ravenous wanted it sooner, rather than later. If you are going to keep this on low for quite a while, cover it, and stir every now and again, as it thickens. Here is mine, beginning to simmer...
 
 
 
Bowl o' goodness underway! Now, as well as an unnatural obsession with chili, I happen to constantly love & crave the nutty goodness that is...
 
 
I also love the fact that grocery chain stores are getting the fact that a lot of us have an educated palate, and do not eat ONLY American-style foods now! Now, while the rice was steaming away, I got the usual perpetrators for toppings ready...
 
 
By the time the rice had steamed....the chili was done! My results?
 
 
Wooohoooo! Free Bird! ♫ (Pixie holds lighter in air, burns fingers, then, sheepishly returns to eating chili).
 
What way did you dress up your leftovers?
 
Eat well, my friends...and remember Fall is for resolutions, Winter is for gratitude, and Spring is for.....SURPRISE! We shall see! Love and kindness to all,
 
Pixie



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