Friday, August 7, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

aka the best enchiladas ever! Thank you so much to Laura, at Tide and Thyme, for introducing me to this recipe. Seriously - they were so so good I can't even tell you. So good in fact, that the leftovers are really calling my name, and I'm trying so hard to resist....

OK so on to the recipe. I followed her recipe pretty closely, with the exception of a few minor changes. I added diced fresh jalapenos with the onion at the beginning; consequently, I omitted the pickled jalapenos from the filling. I also added a big tomato (diced) in with the tomato sauce and water to cook down. Finally, I did a mixture of white cheddar and Monterrey jack instead of all cheddar (simply because I had some to use up). I was a little worried about the spiciness when I tasted the sauce by itself, but when mixed with the fillng and cheese it really mellows out.

Seriously, make these ASAP!
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Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
adapted from Tide and Thyme, orginally from America's Test Kitchen
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medim cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onin mixture, and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.

Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don't like the crunch).

Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.


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Debbie Crisci Miller said...

I made these tonight and they were so delicious! I didn't have corn tortillas so I had to use flour but thankfully the sauce is so amazing, it tasted great. I roasted a whole chicken and then shredded it and let it boil in the sauce. I also added the roasted chicken broth to the onions and jalapeƱos as they were softening. They were a hit with the kids. Thank you!

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