April 3, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas

Note: This recipe was written far before I became a vegetarian, I would never eat this now! Instead I would omit the chicken and double the cheese.
The number of steps can be a bit daunting, but these were actually really easy to make. You could definitely make the veggie mixture, cook the chicken, and prep the sauce in advance and roll up the enchiladas and bake later.
I apologize for any lack of authenticity.
These are not all the ingredients
  • 1 chicken boneless skinless chicken breast (you could use any shredded cooked chicken, like from a rotisserie chicken, but this is cheaper)
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 1/2 an onion thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 8oz. can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and diced (I did not have any but I think it would be a good addition)
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and minced or a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salsa (I used Whole Foods medium salsa but you can alter the recipe to use any kind of your preference)
  • ¼ pound of tomatillos (completely optional; I just had these on hand)
  • 12 burrito size tortillas
  • 1 pounds of jack cheese 
So I happened to have these tomatillos on hand and needed a way to use them but if you don’t have any don’t worry. If you don’t know what tomatillos are, this is what they look like. Tomatillos put the verde in salsa verde. A tomatillo has a soft husk and underneath is a sticky skin. They look a lot like green tomatoes but they taste like limes. I would not be surprised if they are only available in the Southwest, so sorry if you live anywhere else. They are really low maintenance; no coring, deseeding, or really any special preparation except for pulling off the husk, and even that is easy!
  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
  2. Place the chicken on a sheet pan lined with foil. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle a dash of the cumin and chili powder on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as well.
  3. Tent (put a layer of foil on top but do not seal) the chicken with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is not longer pink and the juices run clear. Feel free to cut the chicken clear in half to check, you are going to shred it any way.
  4. While the chicken is baking begin the vegetables. Heat the canola oil over medium heat and sweat the onions. Add the garlic and cook until the onions just start to turn golden. Add the beans, corn, peas, bell pepper, and jalapeño/red pepper flakes. Sauté until the corn and peas are fully thawed and heated. Turn off the stove and set the veggie mixture aside.
  5. Lets move on to the sauce. For the tomatillos, I husked them and gave them a rough chop. Then I put them under the broiler until they were slightly charred.
  6. Pour the salsa into a blender and add the roasted tomatillos. Blend until very smooth. Now taste. Since I added the tomatillos the sauce was very tart. I this happens to you as well just add some of the remaining corn (about a half cup was what I added) and blend. Add salt to taste.
  7. Hooray, it’s time for assembly! First shred the chicken. I set up a little assembly line with a dish full of chicken, the pan full of veggies, a blender carafe full of the salsa, and a plate of tortillas. Oh, and don’t forget the grated cheese!
  8. Pour about a cup of salsa into a roasting pan.
  9. Place a tortilla on a cutting board and place about a spoon each of the veggies, chicken, and cheese onto the lower third of the tortilla. Go easy on the filling remember these are enchiladas not burritos. Tightly roll the enchiladas and place them in the roasting pan (with no space between them).
  10. 10. Pour the remaining salsa on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese.
  11. 11. Cover the pan with foil and bake for twenty minutes until everything is heated through and the cheese is melted.
  12. 12. Serve with guacamole, cilantro, sour cream, and black olives if you like

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