Mango Chicken Salad

Hello spacefans! (Can I say that?)

I haven’t actually disappeared–despite all appearances. Our beautiful daughter Aubrianna was born June 17th at 9:39am, so I’ve been a bit busy–and been doing less cooking, naturally.
However, now I’m back in the swing of things, and the result is this:

Mango Chicken Salad:

Mango Chicken Salad

Isn’t it beautiful? This salad is fairly simple to make. Toss mixed greens (we used spring lettuces and spinach fresh from the garden) with diced grilled chicken breast. Top with Mango Salsa (my own blend):

  • One ripe mango, diced
  • One small jalapeno, diced
  • Half a cucumber, diced
  • Half a green bell pepper, diced
  • One Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl to mix well. Set aside until ready to top the salad.

We used a cilantro lime vinaigrette. I snagged and adapted the recipe from Coastal Living 2002:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about one large lime, fresh-squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (I actually used sushi vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, diced green and white parts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper

Whisk all of these ingredients together until well blended, then toss your salad in this delicious vinaigrette! Great for lunch. You can also use tuna instead of chicken.


Buttermilk Chicken Enchiladas

Since the baby is coming soon, Jamie and I agreed that we should make lots of freezer-friendly food before she is born (so we don’t have to rely on our families’ well-meaning concoctions). We wrote out a list of yummy sounding and practical recipes to make and freeze, and set to work.
Unfortunately, most freezer-friendly recipes that really taste just as good later seem to be winter-friendly, too…but that’s another story.

These Buttermilk Enchiladas were originally conceived of by the awesome lady over at (who also makes an amazing German Chocolate Cake, by the way), but I have made a good number of changes to the way it’s done (like doubling or tripling most of the spices). These are not your typical rolled tortilla, tangy red sauce type of enchiladas either, oh no. They are stacked, ridiculously filling, and silly complicated. But so worth it.

This is the result (sauce pouring shown for effect):
Buttermilk Enchiladas

Here’s what you need:

For the Enchiladas:

  • A whole chicken (minus feathers, the typical frozen or refrigerated whole chicken), about 3lb bird (larger will yield more leftovers)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • About 2 cups of shredded cheese (we like colby-monty jack, but use whatever you prefer that melts well)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground chili powder
  • 22 corn tortillas (we prefer white corn)
  • About 1/2 cup corn oil

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups chicken broth (reserved from cooking the chicken)
  • 4 tbsp corn oil
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp chili powder

Now, the original recipe calls for boiling the chicken in a pan for a while. I prefer to cook it in a crock pot. I put it in my big 5qt crock pot, just cover it with water, and salt lightly. Then I cook it on high for 1 hour, then change it to low and cook it until I am ready to make the enchiladas (4-6 hours, but I usually start it before I leave for work and then it’s ready when I get home). The chicken should be falling off the bones if you look at it cross-eyed.
Once it’s cooked, carefully remove it from the crock pot. Don’t throw away the juice, just leave it in the pot for now.
While the chicken is cooling, saute the onion in melted butter over medium heat until lightly browned.
Separate the chicken from the bones, skin, and fat bits. Keep all of this refuse in a separate bowl–you can use it to make more broth for soup or something later.
Finely dice the chicken, set aside in a large bowl and season with 1tsp salt, 1tsp cumin and 2 tsp chili powder. Mix well. Combine the onions with this mixture.

Now it’s time to prepare the sauce. Heat the 4tbsp of oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Do not heat too hot or the spices will burn! Whisk in flour, 2 tsp salt, 3 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 3 tbsp chili powder. Mixture should be an orangish color. After spices are well combined, add 3 cups of the reserved chicken broth. Bring to a low boil and let simmer while you fry the tortillas.

Heat the 1/2 cup of corn oil in a medium nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas, one at a time, for about 20-30 seconds on each side until they are slightly crisp. Set aside on a paper towel covered plate to drain some of the grease.

Once all the tortillas are fried, very slowly whisk the buttermilk into the sauce. Continue whisking on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until sauce thickens slightly.

This is, of course, the best part. To assemble, dip a tortilla in the sauce, then place it on the plate. Top with 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture, sprinkle a good bit of cheese (about 1/8 cup) then pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over the ensemble. Dip another tortilla, place it on top, add 1/4 cup chicken, a good sprinkle of cheese, dip another tortilla, add to the top of the stack, top with more cheese, and douse the whole thing with another 1/4 cup of sauce. You should have a stack of goodness that looks a lot like the picture above.
These freeze really well and almost taste better reheated because the sauce has time to soak in and get yummy.

This makes about 7 enchiladas, with a spare tortilla in case of breakage.

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