This was the result of one of my favorite experimental cooking scenarios—I got to the grocery store and they did not have what I wanted (in this case, cannelloni and a can of Alfredo sauce). Having no idea how the tortilla substitution would work out, I took the first bite with my eyes closed. Suffice it to say, this is one of the first meals in a very long time that earned me a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek. Enjoy!
- 2 or 3 chicken breasts
- creamy pasta sauce mix (Alfredo, Four Cheese or Carbonara)
- 1 packet instant tomato soup powder or ½ can of tomato soup
- ~ 500 mL of milk
- butter/margarine (if needed)
- 1 clove of garlic or garlic powder
- flour tortillas
- shredded parmesan, mozzarella or an Italian blend
1. Make some shredded chicken. You can do this one of [at least] three ways, depending on your preference or time frame.
- Boil the chicken on the stove for about half an hour. Drain the water and the chicken should pull apart using two forks.
- Boil the chicken on the stove for about an hour. Stir it frequently and mash/jab at it with a wooden spoon to help it fall apart in the water. Pour the contents through a strainer and put the chicken back in the pot. You should be able to continue mashing it with a spoon for just about a minute more and it will all pull apart.
- Put the chicken in a slow cooker for 2-3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low. When it’s done, it will be falling apart on its own and some gentle spoon mashing or fork pulling will get the job done. **If you use this method, I strongly recommend cooking the chicken in the sauce from step 2 while it’s in the slow-cooker
2. Prepare half of the pasta sauce mix according to the package directions—usually this involves adding about 250 mL of milk and some butter. Before it boils, however, add the tomato soup mix.
3. Pour your newly created tomato cream sauce over the chicken and mix to coat.
4. Back in the same pot, prepare the other half of the pasta sauce along with a hefty dose of garlic.
5. Divide the chicken across any number of tortilla shells depending on your preferred meat/tortilla ratio and roll ‘em up. (If you’re unsure, just use 2 shells/person and split the meat in fourths)
6. Pour the second batch of cream sauce directly over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
7. Pop in the microwave for 30 sec – 1 min until the cheese is melted.
8. Ready to eat!
[Serves 2 very hungry people]
o Pasta sauce mixes come in various sizes. I used 1 packet of [Dutch] Knorr Carbonara Macaroni that was about 40 grams and called for 500 mL of milk. In the US and Singapore, I always used McCormick packs, which were about 20 grams and called for 250 mL of milk. Use whichever packets you prefer, but obviously, if you use the smaller packets, use two.
o Splitting the sauce in half really isn’t necessary, I just wanted the inside and outside to be a bit different. For a super simple recipe, prepare all the sauce at once, mix half with the meat and pour the other half on top of the shells.
o For an even simpler recipe, use a can of your favorite pre-made creamy pasta sauce and combine it with the [prepared] tomato soup. I won’t judge you, I promise.
o Grill/pan-fry a mix of carrots and broccoli (with a dash of garlic and salt)
o Mix up a spinach, tomato and red onion salad with a splash of balsamic vinaigrette
o Serve up some big slices of Italian bread (like Focaccia) with a plate of olive oil and vinegar/black pepper
o White wine ;-)
o If you’re daring, you can make your own tomato cream sauce by mixing tomato sauce/paste with some whipping cream and parmesan cheese. The ratio is really up to you, but typically equal parts tomato and cream [or slightly less cream] is a good place to start. You can throw in garlic, basil, etc as desired.
o I really recommend adding some spinach along with the chicken. Just rinse, break the stems off and throw it in with the sauce while it’s cooking.o You can dress up the chicken filling even more by chopping up some white onion or mushrooms, giving them a quick sauté and adding them to the meat.