Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What to do with leftover WHOLE CHICKEN? Recipe: Pumpkin Pollo a la Crema with Homemade Tortillas

Today's recipe comes from a combination of the ingredients that needed to be used in my fridge, the desire to make one of my husband's favorite meals, and the thrill of throwing in something seasonal to help make the dish experimental.

The outcome? Seriously, mouth-watering, no-joke, delish, delish, delish Pollo a la Crema (creamy Mexican chicken) with HOMEMADE flour tortillas like you've NEVER had at a restaurant!! 
You can use any kind of chicken for this meal: chicken breasts, thighs, canned chicken (why not!), or what I used, which is leftover whole chicken. My family used to eat whole chicken the first night, carved, with mashed potatoes or some basic carb and veggies or salad. Kind of basic. The next night, we wouldn't know what to do with the rest of it. Nobody wanted to de-bone the carcass so we would just throw it away. :( I know, sad day. But now I've learned how to use every bit of a whole chicken, leaving nothing to waste. This way, a whole chicken can feed my family for about four days, including lunches (SCORE!).

So this recipe (which can totally be tweaked depending on what kind of chicken meat you have), will show you what an amazing meal you can make with leftover whole chicken. You can even boil the bones for chicken broth, which is needed in this recipe. I have a tutorial here: How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth from Leftover Whole Chicken


Homemade Flour Tortillas

OK so my FIRST step in making this luscious meal was the HOMEMADE flour tortillas. Here is a link to my tutorial... How to Make Homemade Tortillas

These aren't as hard as you think... try it, it's worth the extra effort! They are SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought tortillas!!

Next, comes the Pumpkin Pollo a la Crema! Yummy!


1 medium sweet onion
1/4 cup chopped green onions (these were a last minute add-in -- click here to see why)
4 garlic cloves
3-5 mini rainbow peppers
1/8 cup butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Coarse ground salt and pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
About 4 cups leftover cooked chicken meat from a whole chicken
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups chicken broth (Homemade?!)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
Fresh cilantro and diced tomatoes to garnish

First, chop your onion, green onions, peppers, and mince your garlic cloves (hopefully you have a garlic press like I do! Makes it tons easier!)
Next, melt the butter in a 12" skillet, and throw in your minced/chopped onions, pepper, and garlic. Drizzle the olive oil and stir, letting everything meld for about a minute. Add the seasonings.
Stir and let it meld for a minute.
When the onions start to look slightly translucent, add in your cooked chicken and pumpkin puree. Stir well. Let this meld.

Pour in the chicken broth, stir, and let this reduce for a few minutes.
When this has reduced, begin pouring in your heavy cream (YUM!)
Stir and add in the sour cream. Yum, yum, yum, things are getting YUMMY!!

Let this reduce for about 10 minutes. The sauce will no longer be thin, but nice and thick and creamy. Ooh la la!!
You are so close to the finish line!! Top with fresh cilantro and diced tomatoes. Serve with warm homemade tortillas, Spanish rice, refried beans. Or whatever you want!! This is what I did and it was absolutely heavenly.
 Like, even my husband said it was "one of the best meals you've ever made". This is major. This basically means he was doing cartwheels inside his head. Love it when leftover whole chicken is transformed into a masterpiece!!

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