Chicken Enchiladas

My family likes to cook.  It is not just a chore to be done, but also a source of entertainment as well.  As my girls start to get old enough to contemplate moving out, the need for recipes for family favorites is becoming apparent.

My wife is a great cook.  However, many of her signature dishes are mix and combine “until it looks/tastes right”.  Below is an attempt to add measurements and instructions to chicken enchiladas.  This will make enough for a crowd, or for leftovers.

In this recipe, the chocolate helps to temper and balance the heat and spice in the enchilada sauce.  The cornstarch gravy will help the enchiladas remain moist without being soupy or too wet from the sauce.

Chicken Enchiladas


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cans chicken broth (14 oz)
  • 2 cans black olives (6 oz)
  • mozzarella cheese (1 lb)
  • cheddar cheese (1 lb)
  • cornstarch (2 Tbsp)
  • 2 cans enchilada sauce (29 oz, we use mild)
  • ground sweet chocolate (Ghirardelli)
  • flour tortillas (about 20)
  • pot of rice (3-4 cups uncooked rice)


  1. Trim the chicken breasts and brown lightly in a large dutch oven with vegetable oil.
  2. Simmer chicken with one can of broth until cooked.  Do not over cook.
  3. Remove chicken breasts from pot, reserving liquid.
  4. Chop or shred chicken meat.
  5. Add second can of chicken broth to reserved liquid.
  6. Thicken broth and juices into gravy with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed into about 1/2 cup water.
Filling (fills about 5 tortillas):

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 4 teaspoons ground sweet chocolate
  • 1-1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup chicken / cornstarch gravy
  • 1 cup cheese (mozzarella / cheddar blend)
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
Topping Sauce (covers one pan):

  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken / cornstarch gravy
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Spoon filling into cooked flour tortillas.  Roll closed and place into backing dish seam down.  Top with sauce mixture.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 F until hot, about 25 minutes.  You can uncover during the last 5 minutes to reduce the moisture and brown the cheese.  This should make enough to fill three 9×13 glass baking dishes.

Cooking Travel

Guilty Pleasures in Food, Part 2

Giovanni's Shrimp TruckWhen it comes to food and eating, I am quite adventuresome.  My wife is not.  She really would like to know that if she is going to order and eat something that she is going to like it (or at least not get sick from it).  The gal at the rental car agency had said that we should try some of the shrimp trucks on the north side of the island.

On the day that we were taking a drive around the island, we stopped at Topical Farms on the Kamehameha Hwy in Kaneohe.  After we had finished our shopping for coffee and souvenirs, I asked one of the guys that worked there what he thought about the local shrimp trucks.  He said that they were pretty good and that if I want shrimp that I should stop at Romy’s or Giovanni’s.  I pressed him.  Which would he eat at?  Romy’s has more tables and can feed you faster, but Giovanni’s is better.

With a nod of approval from my wife, we were off on our gastronomical adventure. Giovanni’s it is.  Now where is it?  Maggie didn’t know (Magellan RoadMate 1470).  Oh well, just keep driving.  We will find it eventually.  Turns out that Giovanni’s is in Kahuku, on the Kamehameha Hwy.  (Turns out that nearly everything on Oahu is just off of Kamehameha Hwy).

We ordered the shrimp scampi and rice plates.  Wow, talk about garlic.  My wife was saying that Hawaii must be the biggest buyer of garlic ever.  I think that is what makes the shrimp so good. The liberal use of fresh garlic and butter.  Giovanni’s also offers a spicy shrimp.  After tasting the hot sauce they served as a side to the normal shrimp scampi, I’m glad I didn’t order the spicy version.  I would have ended up crying my eyes out.  That is some serious hot sauce.

If I ever travel back to Oahu, Giovanni’s will be on the list of places that I will visit again.

Cooking Travel

Guilty Pleasures in Food, Part 1

Is it really a vacation unless you let loose a little with what you are eating?  Come on, what is vacation without a little extra fat, salt and sugar in your diet?  You  might as well stay home, have a bowl of All-Bran and go to work.