The first 3-D movie that I remember seeing was Jaws 3-D, back in 1983. It promised to be scarier, more gory and, in general, more over the top than the original due to the dramatic 3-D effects. Of course, these effects were only visible when wearing those disposable cardboard 3-D glasses. (Personally, I loved the 3-D glasses. I probably even saved them and took them home.)
Nowadays, people have 3-D televisions in their home and some “fancy pants” theaters are on to 4-D movies. I would expect to find an assortment of 3-D movies and equipment at an electronics or retail superstore, but at Johnnies? While shopping, I found a product at Johnnies labeled 3-D, the 3-D break apart chicken steaks. I was confused, it caught my attention. Why would a food product contain 3-D in it’s description? What was the connection, the reasoning, for the 3-D labeling? I googled the product and came up with no explanation. So, I developed my own conclusion……..this chicken must be better than the original. Extra special, perhaps out of this world delicious. A technological advancement for the poultry world.
These 3-D break apart chicken steaks are essentially pre-shredded raw chicken, pressed together to form a patty or steak. You cook or grill the chicken, fully frozen, in a skillet at 350 degrees. When the top side of the steak defrosts, you flip and begin to shred. It’s almost magical to watch. What starts as a patty ends as finely shredded chicken in a few minutes without much effort. The chicken steaks are 4 oz. and sold frozen in packs of 10. (The pressed patty is 4 oz, but when shredded I determined that one “chicken steak” yielded approximately 3/4 cup of shredded chicken.)
I have been drooling over a particular mouth watering recipe for chicken enchiladas. I thought that this recipe would be the perfect opportunity to poll the test audience on this 3-D chicken. Usually, I would cook and then shred the chicken myself, using breasts or boneless thighs, which costs me extra time. By using the breakaway chicken, I probably cut 20-30 minutes off of my prep time.
I realize that this post sounds very technical. In an attempt to impress you with my fabulous photography and editing skills, and to show you how this chicken simply “breaks away”, I have included pictures to further explain the cooking process.
Once your chicken is cooked, you can use it in any recipe that calls for shredded chicken. (Just be sure to cook thoroughly before serving as it is raw chicken.) The most obvious being Chicken Cheese Steaks, which would be super delicious and easy.
I, however, had something cheesier, creamier and more calorie packed in mind…..which leads us back to the chicken enchiladas.
White Chicken Enchiladas
Start to Finish: about 1 hour
3-4 break apart chicken “steaks” cooked, shredded
2 cups chicken broth
1 T. oil
1 large onion, diced
(2) 4 oz. cans of diced green chilies
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 T. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas a few seconds until soft, no longer than 20 seconds. Do not allow to become crisp. Place tortillas on paper towels to drain.
Heat 1 T. oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute for a few minutes, until softened. Add chicken, half of the green chilies and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Remove from heat.
In a large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and whisk frequently. Cook for another minute or two, until slightly thickened. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese, stirring to melt. Ad 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Pour some of the cheese sauce mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Assemble enchiladas: Spoon chicken on tortillas, one by one. Top with remaining shredded cheese and roll up. Place (seam side down) in casserole dish. Pour remaining cheese mixture over the tortillas. Top with extra cheese, if you’re feeling crazy, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I loved using the breakaway chicken! It really is a time saver and the chicken comes out perfectly shredded. The chicken is not heavily seasoned, making it perfect to use in any chicken recipe. Remember, you can add favorite seasonings and toppings while the chicken is cooking. Maybe the 3-D isn’t so much in the mild flavor, but in the special (cooking) effects. I have never seen anything like this product. It was like conducting a scientific experiment.
Johnnies also carries a break apart beef steak as well. I intend to give these a try, they would be great to use for cheese steaks or even fajitas or tacos.