This is one of the very few crockpot recipes you will see from me. I have tried to love my crock pot but I just can’t seem to pull off the amazing recipes I see all over Pinterest, promising a fabulous meal with minimal hassle. Most of my attempts end up weird. This one, however after a few trials comes out practically perfect every single time. I made my own enchilada sauce this time, but just as often I used the already made stuff in a can. Both work equally well and you have delicious results regardless.
This also happened to be a great dish to use up the few veggies my garden had left in it after the frost. The peppers looked too pretty to feed to the critters. This dish also happens to freeze very well and tastes good on nachos so I make it in bulk and save the leftovers for another day’s dinner.
You can serve this in a bowl topped with a little sour cream and some green onions, salsa or whatever you like. You can also (like I typically do) use it to make baked enchiladas (which also freeze very well).
More often than not I do make my own tortilla shells. I think the flavor is much nicer than the store bought, they don’t take a ton of effort to make and they do not have any preservatives or questionable ingredients. You can substitute lard for the vegetable shortening, but it is not typically something I have on hand.
The recipe I used can be found at Food.com and all credits to the original developers of this recipe. I sometimes find the site hard to navigate, so I will re-type it here for you. I double the recipe from the original.
Flour Tortilla Recipe
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup warm water (you may need additional)
In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the shortening and cut in with a fork until it looks grainy. Add the cup of warm water and mix in with your fork until the dough starts to form (I think at this stage it looks a lot like shredded chicken). Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead lightly until it is smooth. Divide into equal balls (this will make 16-20 depending on what size you like, I made larger ones so I had 16 balls). Put these on a plate and cover to rest for 30-60 minutes.
Pat the dough balls into a disk shape and then roll out with a rolling pin until they are very thin. In a hot, dry pan (over medium heat to start with, you will likely have to lower the temperature as you go) place one tortilla in and when it bubbles, flip to the other side for about 10 seconds and remove to a holding plate. If you plan to use these right away, cover so they stay warm.
These go very quickly, I can usually roll one out while one is cooking. Unless the kids are acting like they have never eaten or slept a day in their lives. Should you have children about, plan on losing one of these shells to them, your child(ren) will want to sample one.
You want just a little color on these, too much and they will become stiff and hard to use very quickly. I made these the day ahead for tacos and stored them in the fridge covered with plastic wrap.
Now for the chicken and rice part.
Enchilada Chicken and Rice
You can use more or less veggies as you desire. If adding tomatoes, add them at the end with the beans otherwise they might dissolve in the slow cooker. I almost always start this recipe with frozen chicken, it gives it a longer cooking time and saves the hassle of thawing-out chicken. If you start with fresh, add an extra 1/4 cup of water or chicken stock.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
2-3 cups enchilada sauce divided
1 cup white rice
1/3 cup water
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups grated cheese (cheddar and monterey jack are what I use), divided
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
Place your chicken into the crock pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the peppers and onion over top of the chicken followed by the rice.
Pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce over the top (if you are using a mix of heat levels, use your spiciest one here) also add the water. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over the rice if desired.
I use the 4 hour setting on my Crock Pot and let it finish cooking on the “warming” setting. I have also cooked it strictly on the “warming” setting and it was perfect for a 10 hour day.
When the chicken and rice are tender shred the chicken ( you can do this easily with two forks right in the cooker) and add the beans and half of the cheese. Mix it all together.
Serve it like this with a little of the reserved sauce, sour cream and extra cheese or toppings of your choice. Or proceed to making baked enchiladas.
Pre-heat oven to 375’F. On a slightly warm tortilla add about 1/3 cup filling on one edge of the tortilla. Fold both ends over the filling slightly and roll the filling toward the open end of the tortilla, wrapping it up as you go and tucking in the edges. Place into a 9×13 inch baking dish that has 1/4 cup of sauce spread evenly across the bottom seam side down. Repeat with the remaining shells and filling. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
I intended to have a beautiful picture of one adorned with lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and sour cream, but my husband thought it looked delicious and ate it before I had a chance to take a picture. However, as I mentioned before these freeze great! I packed this batch directly into meal prep containers and into the freezer they went. They will be microwaved a later day for lunch. They can also be frozen in regular disposable baking pans.
P.S. I found that the baby food containers I used to store my yogurt in the other day fit PERFECTLY into the small sections! Not exactly related to the above recipe, but I was pretty excited about it!