I thought with Cinco de Mayo being tomorrow I would re-post my famous Chicken Enchilada recipe! Remember, make this your own! Use whatever you have on hand. Want red sauce instead of tomatillo? Use red sauce. It is all good! Simple and delicious. If you grill a bunch of chicken tonight you will have pre-cooked chicken already to go for your enchiladas tomorrow! And don't forget the margaritas!
When people ask me what I make that is really good (besides everything!) I reply: Chicken Enchiladas.
My chicken enchilada recipe has been loved and devoured by many over the years. I started making chicken enchiladas about....16 or 17 years ago. I remember buying a Campbell's Food cookbook at a grocery store and finding a recipe for chicken enchiladas in it.
While I have never followed the recipe exactly, I did use it as a jumping off point. And while that recipe was my jumping off point, I have modified and adjusted the ingredients in the "stuffing" depending on my whim, fancy, mood or what was on hand.
The first time I made the orignial recipe I invited a couple neighbors over, and we all devoured them. It has been much the same experience *any* time I have made enchiladas for anyone. Eveyone loves them.
My original recipe was a flour tortilla with a red enchilada sauce (storebought) stuffed with, at a minimum, shredded chicken and cheese. Seriously simple. And delicious.
My latest incarnation, however, takes it to a little higher level.
First of all I found these babies, which I LOVE!
Do you see what it says? A delicious BLEND of corn and flour! They really are the best of both worlds.
Next take some pre-cooked chicken and shred or chop it. You can use white or dark meat or a mixture of both. You can use storebought rotissere chicken, roast your own chicken, poach the chicken, cook it in a crockpot, whatever, I don't care, just get yourself some cooked chicken. This recipe is great to have in your arsenal if you regularly roast or cook a chicken and only have part of it for the meal. The leftover meat is perfect to use up in enchiladas the next night!
|My own roast chicken cut into 8 pieces.|
|Approximately 2 cups of chopped/shredded chicken.|
This is garlic, jalepeno, new mexico chile, red bell pepper, and the white parts of green onions.
Because I have them, and I am revamping the recipe, I chopped up a handful of fresh tomatillos.
Now, take all the stuff in the first picture and put it in a heated skillet with a bit of olive oil to saute until starting to soften. Then add the tomatillos and continue to saute until they, too start to soften. Throw in a little seasoning if you want, like ground cumin, chipotle pepper sauce, garlic powder, salt...whatever you like, to taste. You could also use "taco seasoning" if you have it, but don't use too much..maybe a couple teaspoons. Once everything is starting to soften nicely add your pre-cooked and chopped/shredded chicken to the pan.
Cook just to heat everything through, you want your chicken hot. This will only take a couple of minutes. If you haven't already, or are using unseasoned chicken (like poached) you may want to add some seasonings here. (I seasoned twice...I like seasonings!)
Next set up a little assembly line with your stuffing mixture, the tortillas, whatever shredded cheese you are using and your 13 x 9 baking dish. Now start stuffing!
Put a couple tablespoons of mixture onto one side of the tortilla, add a sprinkle of cheese.
Roll them up, tucking the edge closest to you under the stuffing a bit to hold it all together. Place it in the casserole dish (spray the dish with a little no-stick spray first).
THEN (this is where it all gets craaazay) top with homemade tomatillo sauce. (Okay you can used canned tomatillo's in a pinch, but fresh will be way better!). I'll give you the recipe below.
Then sprinkle with cheese.This is mozzarella because it is what we had in the fridge. Normally I would use a chedder or a "mexican" shred blend. But whatever, use whatever you have or like as long as it will melt and get nice and gooey (<-- technical term).
Doesn't that look good!?! Oh gosh. SO good.
Next, stick it in a 350 degree oven for 10-20 minutes, until it is all hot and bubbly and the cheese is ooeygooey melty. The time will depend on how full you stuff your enchiladas, how much and what kind of cheese you used, etc.
THEN you get to eat it!
Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Salsa
For the enchiladas:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2-3 medium jalapenos (more or less to taste), chopped
1 medium new mexico chile, choppped
4 green onions, white parts only (reserve tops for garnish), sliced into rounds
1/2 - 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped/shredded
1 cup tomatillo salsa (recipe below)
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided
1 medium tomato, diced, for garnish, optional
sour cream for topping, optional
1 10 pack of tortillas (I used a corn/flour blend, and they are the medium size ones, 8" I think)
For the Tomatillo Salsa
1 cup diced or halved fresh tomatillos
1/2 cup white or yellow onions, diced
jalapeno and/or serrano chile's to taste (use 1 or 2 of each for milder-removing seeds and membranes, leave seeds and membranes in, and add more for spicier)
2 garlic cloves
Combine everything in a saucepan over medium heat and let it cook down. This will take 10-20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and rough chop (don't puree). Voila! Your tomatillo sauce is now ready for use!
Follow the above instructions to cook your enchilada stuffing, stuff and roll your enchiladas, top with tomatillo sauce and cheese, bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes. Top with your favorite garnishes...green onion, tomatoes, sour cream, or maybe olives or cilantro or radishes...whatever suits your taste buds!
As you can see, Chris topped his with a variety of toppings!
This is a VERY simple, and QUICK meal to make, especially if you have the chicken pre-cooked. You can, of course, mix it up in so many ways to add flavor or heat. If you are low on time, just throw the chicken and cheese in the tortillas and top with the sauce. It will lose some of the complexity of the peppers and onions, but it will still be REALLY good.
It is so good, in fact, that Chris and I can quite literally eat the entire pan by ourselves in one sitting. We are gluttonous pigs...but they are that good!
Try them and let me know what you think!