Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas – From Farm to Fork

It’s always good to have a few good recipes ready for your home meal rotation. Here’s a great one that’s simple to prepare, and yields plenty of food!

Ingredients:

  • 4 c cooked, shredded chicken
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 lb Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 lb Colby cheese, shredded
  • 2 packages tortillas
  • 1 can enchilada sauce

Start by cooking and shredding your chicken. I like to do this in the slow cooker overnight, so I can assemble the enchiladas in the morning and they can be ready to pop in the oven as soon as I get home from work!

After that, combine all ingredients (except the tortillas, enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese) and mix well. Put some of the mixture in the bottom of your pan. Fill your tortillas with the chicken mixture and some shredded cheese. When the pan is full, top with the can of enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Pop in the oven at 300 for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.

This recipe is great for several reasons. First, it’s delicious. Second, the ingredients come from all over the place. When you make a recipe like this, it’s incredible to think about all of the farms and businesses that inadvertently cooperated to give you this great meal.

Our main ingredient in this recipe is the chicken. Chickens give us two main products: meat and eggs. However, it’s not the same types of chickens that are raised for both. Here in Iowa, we have lots of laying hens that are used for egg production. These tend to be breeds of chickens that have white feathers and lay white, clean-looking eggs. The chickens raised for meat are called broilers. They live in different kinds of barns, and tend to be raised in different parts of the country.

This recipe also has a substantial amount of dairy products. We have different types of shredded cheese and sour cream in this recipe that all come from dairy cows. Like chickens, we get multiple products from cattle (meat and milk, primarily) that come from different types of cattle (beef and dairy cattle). Dairy cattle are raised to produce milk, which can be used to make our sour cream, cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, and more. Different breeds of dairy cattle can produce milk with different amounts of protein and fat, which can lend itself better to different end products. So the milk from one dairy farm might be better for ice cream, and the milk from another dairy farm might be better for fluid milk. Neat, huh?

We also use quite a bit of vegetables in this recipe. Onions, peppers, and tomatoes are all considered vegetables in a dietetic sense, but tomatoes are commonly known to be a fruit botanically! California grows a bulk of our vegetable crops, partially because their mild climate allows them to grow crops for more of the calendar year than we can in the Midwest. Since many fruit and vegetable crops are delicate and take a trained eye, lots of farm labor including harvesting is done manually. For more information and data on our fruit and vegetable production and imports, check out this article.

Lastly, this recipe calls for a couple of processed food items. We use cream of chicken soup, enchilada sauce, and tortillas. Pre-made food items like these started gaining in popularity in the mid-20th century, as women began entering the workforce, but were still responsible for maintaining the home and supper schedule. Time-saving goods like these were – and are – a lifesaver for the busy parent. Goods like these tend to have one or two key ingredients, like chicken stock (cream of chicken soup), tomato sauce (enchilada sauce), and wheat flour (tortillas), in addition to stabilizers, flavorings, and other additives formulated to increase both flavor and safety.

Watch the video below to see how to make this yummy recipe on your own!

Enjoy!

-Chrissy

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