Saturday, December 3, 2011

my Rambling Thoughts and how two Recipes came to be: Shredded BBQ Chicken Tacos and Chicken Enchilada Pizza



I suppose I've been in a Tex-mex mood lately, since I've made two Mexican-inspired recipes in the last two weeks with shredded chicken.  It was my turn to make the weekly dinner menu (which is also our lunch for the following day) before going grocery shopping, and both recipes just sort of came to me, with my thought process going something like this...






(Warning...you're about to read my secret recipe-formulating thoughts...) 

Hmm, we have a lot of BBQ sauce on hand since I just made another big batch for those ribs the other night.  We should have BBQ something this week.  Maybe chicken?  We have chicken twice a week and it gets so boring sometimes.  I really like that BBQ Chicken with Bacon I've made in the crock pot before.

We could make BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner.

With pickles.  We need more spicy pickles, I love those.

Jamie likes tacos, though.  I'm a little tired of shrimp, and I don't feel like getting a whole head of cabbage for a little slaw, because then it just goes bad before we use it all.  And we always have leftover tortillas.

I wonder how shredded BBQ chicken tacos would taste.  With tomatoes and avocados instead of slaw.  Caramelized onions are so good on tacos.  If I add unsweetened cocoa powder to the sauce, does that make it a mole sauce?  Look at me, thinking I know the first thing about Mexican food like what makes a sauce a mole sauce.

That sounds pretty good, though - BBQ sauce with a little cumin and cocoa to make it less BBQ-y and more taco-y.  And some green chiles.  I don't want it to end up too spicy, so maybe mild chiles and a little spice from cayenne pepper.

Ok, what about dinner tonight?  I still have one packet of yeast left - maybe pizza?

Those cinnamon rolls were so good this morning.

Pizza, though, not cinnamon rolls.  Pepperoni doesn't sound good right now, though.  Too greasy.  Do we have anything to make marinara sauce?  Two cans of tomato sauce and one can of crushed tomatoes, but no fresh tomatoes.  Oh, I forgot about that can of green chile enchilada sauce that I never used.  I wonder how that would be on a pizza instead of marinara sauce.  With chicken cooked in the enchilada sauce first and then shredded.  Tomatoes and red onion.  Must have black olives, too, and cheese.

Ok, that would be good, a chicken enchilada pizza.  Oh, and then we can bake the leftover tortillas from the tacos to make chips, make some guacamole, and have that with the pizza.  The last time I did that, I forgot the tortillas were in the oven and they burned.  Better have Jamie do those while I make the pizza.

Too bad we don't have a deep fryer.  But then I would want to fry everything, and that wouldn't be good either.  Some green chiles would be good in the guacamole, too.  I should make that avocado hummus again sometime.  Jamie didn't like the hummus part, but it was hummus, after all, not guacamole.  I'm making him caramel crumb bars next weekend, though.  He'll love those.  I wish I could master this whole making homemade caramel thing.


And there you have it - the super secret inner workings of my mind, which is how I come up with so many of the things I make.  It's all a little accidental, these silly little rambling thoughts of mine...







Shredded BBQ Chicken Mole Tacos
printable recipe

·         3 chicken breasts, fat trimmed and discarded
·         1 ¼ cups BBQ sauce
·         ½ teaspoon minced garlic
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
·         ½ tablespoon cumin
·         2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
·         ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
·         ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
·         1 small can green chiles, mild or spicy
·         1 red onion, thinly sliced
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         Pinch of salt
·         8-10 small flour tortillas
·         3 Roma tomatoes, diced
·         2 ripe avocados, sliced
·         1 cup grated cheese
·         1 lime


Place the chicken in a crock pot.  In a bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, garlic, nutmeg, cumin, cocoa, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and chiles.  Pour over the chicken and stir to coat.

Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours, until chicken is cooked through.  Place the chicken on a cutting board and shred with two forks.  Return the chicken to the crock pot and stir to coat in the sauce.  Cover and simmer on low while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and salt and cook for 20-30 minutes, until browned and caramelized.

To serve, scoop the chicken onto each tortilla and top with the tomatoes, avocados, onions and cheese.  Finish with a squeeze of lime.

Yields 8-10 tacos.


Chicken Enchilada Pizza
printable recipe

·         2 tablespoons corn meal
·         1 prepared pizza crust, unbaked, rolled out to fit your pizza pan or pizza stone
·         1 chicken breast, cut into 4 pieces
·         1 can (14 ounces) green chile enchilada sauce
·         1 teaspoon ground cumin
·         ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
·         ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
·         1 can (2.5 ounces) sliced black olives
·         1 Roma tomato, diced
·         ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
·         2 tablespoons chopped green chiles, mild or spicy
·         1 ½ cups grated cheese, any type of melting cheese or cheese blend
·         2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven as high as it will go (550 for ours), and let it preheat for about 20 minutes.  If you have a pizza stone, let that preheat in the oven.

Sprinkle a large pizza pan with the cornmeal, then lay the pizza dough on the pan.  (You could also build your pizza on a pizza peel to transfer directly to the pizza stone – we don’t have a pizza peel so we bake ours on a pan that we set on top of the pizza stone.)

In the meantime, place the chicken pieces in a saucepan and pour the enchilada sauce on top.  Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove the chicken and shred with two forks.  Let the sauce cool for a few minutes in the fridge so it’s not piping hot when you spread it on the dough.

Spread the enchilada sauce on the pizza dough and add the chicken.  Sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want the pizza).  Add the olives, tomato, red onion, green chiles and cheese.

Brush the edge of the dough with the olive oil.

Bake at 550 for 5-6 minutes, until toppings are hot, cheese is melted, and crust is browned and crispy.  If your oven doesn’t go up this high, you can bake it at around 400 for 10-12 minutes.

Cool on the counter for 5 minutes before slicing.

Yields 8 large slices.