Weekly Dinner Deal: What Is Cheap Thrills Making 8/22/10?

I have a recipe for awesome Light and Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, modified from Holly Clegg’s “Trim & Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals” (available through the Omaha Public Library).  When I get a deal on chicken thighs or quarters, I often cook up a bunch to make a few pans of these.

About a week and a half ago, I got a SWEET deal on Smart Chicken quarters at BagNSave.  For just under 6 lbs, I spent 1.91.  The chicken was cooked in my Crock Pot (nothing added at all; not even S&P) for about 7 hours (while we were out), cooled, then skinned and boned.  This yielded a tad over 8 cups, safely packaged and stored.  I have to say that the Smart Chicken has much less skin, fat, bone and gristle than other store brand quarters.  I had no problem at all getting the beautiful, juicy meat off the bone (took 10 minutes for all of it), and ended up without any bits of gristle or fat in the mix.  The drum meat actually tastes like breast meat to me!  I am sold on Smart Chicken, and will look for quick sales, coupon deals, and whatever savings I can find to put this in our diet.

So I have the chicken.  I have the other ingredients on-hand usually, except for tortillas.  Also a few weeks ago, I got two 20-ct Mission tortillas for .99 each.  We did eat a few of the tortillas (cheese quesadillas for snacks), and ended up with 32 in the packages — enough for four pans of 8 enchiladas!

#2 helped me assemble the dish today.  We started by making homemade enchilada sauce:

tomato sauce .28

chicken broth .59

cumin, garlic powder, onion powder <.62

chili powder about .50

Wisked it all up (took 3 minutes) and let it marry while we made the enchiladas:

8 cups shredded chicken 1.91

1 1/2 packages of softened light cream cheese 1.49

cream of chicken soup .69

1 packet of taco seasoning .34

chopped onion .25

shredded cheddar 1.00 (divided in half)

Mixed it all thoroughly.  Spread the 32 tortillas out on the island counter and put one ice cream scoop of filling on each one.  Amazingly, it worked out perfectly!  Rolled the tortillas into enchiladas.

Put 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of each of four foil pans and wiggled it around.  Put 8 enchiladas in each pan.  Topped with remaining sauce divided evenly among the pans.  Topped with second half of cheese evenly among the pans.  Labeled the cardboard lids, topped, and stacked in the freezer.  (Took about 15 minutes.)

Yay!  In a half-hour’s time (including cleanup), we made four enchilada dinner pans!  Total cost: 7.67….Total per dinner: 1.92. 

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