Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I can't remember where I originally got this recipe from but I have changed it so many times that it doesn't even matter; it's mine now. This is one of my favorite go-to recipes just because it is so very yummy. Not the healthiest one but you can improve that by making it with plain yogurt instead of sour cream. I did that when I lived in Bolivia and had no access to sour cream and it was just as good! This recipe takes a bit more prep work but definitely worth it.

The Recipe:
  • 3 bone-less, skin-less chicken breasts
  • 12 small tortillas (I prefer flour)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 14 oz. canned tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce or puree
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced, seeds discarded for less spicy (optional)
  • 6 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. white sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

The Method:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place chicken in baking dish, season with salt and pepper on both sides, pour 3 Tbl. of olive oil on top of the chicken, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until meat thermometer reads 160 deg. (around 35 minutes)
  • You can leave oven on because you will bake the enchiladas once assembled.

The Sauce:
  • In the meantime, start the sauce by heating remaining 3 Tbl. olive oil, add chopped onion, season with salt and pepper and saute until onions are soft, about 5 minutes
  • Stir in garlic and jalapeno to onions, saute for another minute or so
  • Stir in canned tomatoes (plus sauce from cans), and tomato sauce. I like to use whole canned tomatoes and squish them up with my hands before adding
  • Stir in oregano, basil, cumin and sugar
  • Bring sauce to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes

The Assembly:
  • When chicken is finished, you can begin to assemble the enchiladas (you don't need to wait for the sauce to finish simmering)
  • Shred or chop up chicken into narrow pieces (you can see picture below to get an idea)
  • Set up an assembly line of the chicken, sour cream and cheese
  • Spoon a bit of sauce (whatever stage it's in) on the bottom of the pan, just enough to cover the bottom
  • Take one tortilla, spread a little sour cream across the middle from one edge to the other, add a few pieces of chicken and top with about 1 Tbl. of cheese. Roll up tight and place in pan on top of sauce.
  • Repeat this with all the tortillas until it fills up the pan (just one layer)

Finishing things off:
  • When sauce has finished simmering, turn off heat and stir in the remaining sour cream (plus a little more if you so desire; I add about 1 cup to the sauce). Taste the sauce to check the seasoning and add a little more salt and pepper if need be.
  • Pour the sauce on top of the assembled enchiladas and spread to even out. Top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes (also at 350 deg.) and let cool for about 5 minutes before dishing out.

Here are a few photos from along the way...

Assembling the enchiladas.

Placing in the pan once assembled and tightly rolled up. Notice the sauce on the bottom. Keeps everything nice and moist.

As you can see, 12 small tortillas perfectly fills up this baking dish!

This is once the enchiladas are topped with sauce and cheese but it stills needs to be baked for 30 minutes.

I like that the sauce is chunky and that there is lots of it. These enchiladas are also really good reheated so feel free to make lots of them.


1 comment:

Elise said...

Elsa, these enchiladas are delicious! I made them the other night, and I am bringing them to a friend's house for dinner tonight. Matt is onto something when he says you need to create a cookbook.

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