Chicken Enchiladas

When I bake a chicken one of the things I like do do with the leftovers is make chicken enchiladas. These are such a hit that sometimes I just bake a chicken to get the meat for them. That is what I decided to do this weekend because I had a bunch of jalapenos from my CSA box and it was cool enough to roast a chicken. I don’t necessarily use a specific enchilada recipe per se. Rather I riff on an enchilada recipe from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday cookbook. I have three of Bayless’s cookbooks and they’ve never steered me wrong. I especially like them for the sauce recipes. In this case, I’m stealing the sauce portion of the “Tomato-and-Jalapeno-Sauced Enchiladas with Sour Cream and Aged Cheese”. The rest of the dish I made up based on what I know about how enchiladas are typically made.

What’s awesome for me about this dish is I can make it in stages. Sunday I baked, deboned and shredded the necessary chicken. I also made the enchilada sauce. This morning I put the pan of enchiladas together. Then all I had to do at dinnertime was bake for 30 minutes which gave me a chance to play with el Nino. Final product looks professional grade in the pan but comes out messy. I’ve resigned myself to this because looks are secondary to taste. You can see how much we liked them below.

So what does it take to make these tasty morsels?

Chicken Enchiladas

  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 jalapeno chiles and 1 serrano chile roasted skinned and seeded
  • 28 ounces diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (cook your own or buy own at the store pre-cooked and shred it. You’ll have chicken for another meal)
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (there is a “mexican” blend that I use but mild cheddar works too)
  1. Drain juice from tomatoes and set aside
  2. Combine garlic, chiles, and tomatoes in blender and pulse until smooth
  3. Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add tomato puree and cook until mixture reduce to tomato paste consistency 7-10 minutes
  4. Add broth and tomato juice you set aside. Simmer on medium low heat until sauce thickens 10 -15 minutes
  5. Toast corn tortillas. You can put them on a baking sheet in the oven or put them in the toaster oven. I do the latter. They need to be warm and pliable not crispy!
  6. Combine chicken, 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the cheese and mix well
  7. Coat lightly the bottom of a 9×11 pan with sauce.
  8. Place a small amount of chicken mixture in a single tortilla. Roll up and place in pan. Repeat until all the chicken mixture is used. Don’t over stuff the tortillas!
  9. Cover rolled up tortillas with remaining sauce
  10. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of tortillas and sauce
  11. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes
  12. Remove foil and bake for 5 minutes more

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