Cooking

Chicken Enchiladas

Sometimes, a good warm plate of flavorful enchiladas is just what you need on a cool fall or winter day. This recipe is something we concocted, borrowing a little from here and a little from there. It’s not complicated, but it takes some time …  it’s a great project for a lazy Sunday afternoon with the tunes cranking and a pitcher of margaritas in the fridge.

Note: this makes 8 enchiladas

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, diced
  • 4 T chili powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 2 C chicken stock

Meat:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 2 T taco seasoning (see below)
  • 1 C dry white wine

Taco Seasoning (use instead of store-bought, you’ll love it!):

  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 & 1/2 T salt
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 1 T corn starch

Pico De Gallo:

  • 1/3 C chopped onion
  • 1/3 C diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, small dice
  • 4 T cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 t kosher salt

Other Ingredients:

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 1 small can chopped green chilis
  • 2 C shredded cheddar
  • 3 C shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar mix (50/50)
  • 1/3 C crumbled Queso fresco cheese (for topping)
  • Sour cream (for topping)

Cook the chicken:
Pat dry the breasts and hack them into some large chunks (you’ll be shredding them later). Place chicken into a large saucepan. Sprinkle the taco season on top and add the wine and stir a bit to mix in the spices. Cover and cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes.

When cooked through, use two forks to shred the chicken to the desired stringiness and, if there is still a good amount of liquid in the pan, remove the lid and cook down until chicken is still moist. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook the sauce:
In another saucepan, add the 2 T of oil and get it hot. Whisk in the flour and start making a roux. Whisk for 5-10 minutes, until the roux starts turning slightly darker, then add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add in the rest of the spices and stir, then toss in the chopped chipotle chilis with about 2 T of the adobo sauce. Add in the chicken stock and stir occasionally and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened – 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat.

Make the Pico De Gallo:
Stir all of the ingredients together and place in the fridge. When the enchiladas are cooking, put back out, stir again and add more salt if needed.

Make the Enchiladas:
Pull out a 9 x 13 or similar-sized glass baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour about 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of the pan and level it out.

Now it’s time to make yourself an assembly line. We do ours left to right: stack of corn tortillas, small frying pan with 1/3 C vegetable oil, on high, flat bowl with another 1/3 of the sauce, plate for assembly (near that, have the chicken, the shredded cheddar and the green chilis) and finally, the baking dish. We use two pairs of tongs – one for the oil work and one for the saucy work.

Working one at a time, drop a tortilla in the hot oil – let sizzle for about 5 seconds, then flip over for a few more seconds. Pull up and drain and drop it in the bowl of sauce. Flip over so both sides are covered and move to your assembly plate.

Add a generous amount of chicken, about 1/4 C shredded cheddar and two small dollops of green chili. Roll up the tortilla and place the roll in the baking pan. Repeat this right times until the pan is full of enchilada rolls.

Pour the remaining 1/3 of the sauce of the enchiladas in the pan. Sprinkle the cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese over the enchiladas and pop in the over for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is all melty and bubbly.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes after out of the oven and then serve on plates (we do two enchilada a serving). Top with pico de Gallo, some of the Queso fresco and a dollop or two of sour cream.

Pull back on a nice margarita or stuff a lime in a Mexican brew and enjoy!

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