Give a Mom Chicken for a freezer cooking Mexican Fiesta

Mexican FiestaIf I buy chicken in bulk for boiled chicken, it more often turns into a Mexican Fiesta for my freezer.  I am just like If You Give a Mouse a Muffin.

We love Mexican at our house and this freezer cooking line-up is so easy and frugal. I’ll admit it takes about 2 hours active time, but it’s totally worth the labor as you can see from the pictures. The crock pot black beans are optional to begin soaking the night before and crock on Fiesta Day.

My Mexican Fiesta Cooking Work Plan

black beans

Soak 2 pounds black beans in crock pot (the night before Mexican Fiesta cooking day)
Crock pot black beans the day before Mexican Fiesta (or crock the day of for piping hot beans)
boiled chickenStart Boiled Chicken Breasts; homemade broth is cooking at the same time. I make at least six large breasts at a time.

broth1

After chicken is done, use this strained broth to cook brown rice. Tip: I pureed the vegetables in my blender and threw that into my rice for added nutrition and flavor.

enchilada sauceMake Enchilada Sauce; simmer. Can’t you just smell it?
shredded chickenShred chicken the world’s easiest way or dice or slice any way you prefer for future recipes.
mexican riceMake Mexican Brown Rice using enchilada sauce or freeze some plain for stir-fry, etc.

brown riceMeal assembly time!
chicken and spinach enchiladas 3

Assemble chicken enchiladas using shredded chicken, black beans and/or rice.

IMG_1008

You have a choice of fillings or save for side items and they make great quesadilla/taco fillings on quick dinner night when packaged individually.

Cool everything completely
frozen casserole; enchiladasPackage and freeze as a casserole and/or individually for your future Mexican Fiesta nights.
chicken enchilada spaghettiFinally, you must try chicken enchilada spaghetti on another night! You have all the ingredients in your freezer. Thaw and throw it together and wow your family with a new twist on Mexican.

 

MY Freezing Tips:

  • Make sure everything is room temperature, up to 2 hours before freezing or extra frost and ice will develop from the steam. This is the enemy. It creates soggy products while it’s thawing.
  • Cool small batches of beans and/or sauce in an ice bath if you’re short on time. You can always refrigerate overnight and package the next day
  • Never package warm/hot food in ziplog bags
  • Clearly label with contents and date before filling bag
  • Clearly label enchilada baking directions and date heavy duty foil and/or double wrap with regular foil
  • Thaw 24-48 hours before cooking. Casseroles reheat better after a 2 day thaw. Quart bags thaw easily over night in a thawing box.

Here’s the deal, there are a variety of ways you can alter this fiesta and enjoy for many days to come. We often eat the “leftovers” on a tostada or wrap and save the casseroles for the freezer. However, if you’re having company within a day or two, I highly recommend saving a casserole out, along with Mexican rice and black beans {mash them in a stand mixer for super easy re-fried beans}.

If you’re a vegetarian your work is even easier. Make a veggie broth using the same ingredients and substitute black beans, rice and/or corn in the enchilada recipe.

I’ve been making this fiesta for year years and it’s super authentic, delicious and freezer friendly. I have waited a long time to share my work plan with you, like it was some secret, but it’s not. I just started adding the Mexican rice onto the fiesta this past year and it’s divine.

I encourage you to start small and choose half of the line-up if you’re new to freezer cooking. If you’ve done it for a while and you’re good at multi-tasking and love Mexican like we do, then go for it all! You won’t be sorry.

Do you love Mexican like our family?

 

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