Friday, November 11, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce

Have you noticed how much Mexican food I have posted on Wee Warrens?  It must be because I really like making it.  Some people are Italian buffs, or grill masters.  I guess my favorite food culture is Mexican.  Especially things wrapped in tortillas and covered in cheese.  What more could you want in a meal?

Hands down, the favorite Mexican-inspired dish at our house is chicken enchiladas.  It's comfort food for me and Jonathan, and Hannah likes it too. (Keep in mind that this is a kid who started eating salsa straight out of the bowl at 8 months.  And not just any salsa, this stuff would have made some grow-ups cry.  That being said, this really is only as spicy as the sauce you use.)

This is also a super way to use up leftover chicken.  My mom makes turkey enchiladas after the holidays.  If you don't have any cooked chicken on hand, an easy and tasty way is to simmer a couple of chicken breasts (or whatever pieces you have on hand) in just enough water to cover, with a little onion and oregano. 


2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
12 corn tortillas (if you want to do it the "real" way, you have to use corn and not flour)
Sour cream
Cheese that's melty (If you want to be really authentic, skip this "authentic" cheese blend I bought and use Monterrey Jack.  If you want to be frugal, buy what's on sale, like I did. You could also use queso fresco, which is really yummy, but it doesn't melt at all.  So I would use queso fresco in the enchiladas and put the melty cheese on top, to make it look prettier.  Because isn't melted cheese all over your dinner pretty?!)
Green enchilada sauce (My "secret ingredient" is this kind of sauce: Herdez Salsa Verde, which is not enchilada sauce at all.  It's tomatillo salsa, but it has a nice tangy flavor, and just the right amount of spice for our family.)

Step 1: Heat your tortillas.  This keeps them from crumbling when you fold them.  If you don't do this, you're going to get super frustrated, and just have a big tortilla mess on your hands. 

I have this nifty tortilla warmer, that you use in the microwave.  Alternatively, you could use my mom's tried and true method: take the tortillas out of the bag and wrap them in a couple of damp paper towels.  Microwave them for 30-60 seconds.

Step 2: Working with one tortilla at a time, spread lengthwise down the middle: about 2 Tbsp of sour cream,

and 1-2 Tbsp of cheese (this depends on how cheesy you want it, or whether or not you're going for low-cal.  Based on the picture above, it looks like I used a little less than a cup.)

and a nice handful of chicken.

Step 3: Roll up the tortilla.  This is where you'll find out why it mattered to heat the tortillas first.  If they're not hot (or not hot enough), they'll break and crumble.

Step 4: Put them in a 9x13 baking dish, making sure the "seam" side is down.  This keeps all the good stuff in while they're cooking.

Step 5: Cover it up with enchilada sauce.

Make sure you get all the edges, or they'll get crusty and dried out.

Step 6: Top the whole thing with some more cheese.  Again, it's good gooey, and it's nice with just a little for decoration for the diet version.

Step 7: Bake it at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and it's heated all the way through. 

Usually, one person would eat 2 or 3 enchiladas.  So this recipe would serve 4, and you might even have leftovers for lunch the next day.

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