Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

I am not a huge fan of Mexican cuisine, but this definitely was terrific. I was quite impressed that the chicken stayed so moist. This makes a large amount (fully filling my 13x9 baking dish), so you'll have enough for company or leftovers for lunches. I never knew homemade enchilada sauce was so easy!

Chicken Enchiladas
Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
½ tsp salt
1 tsp canola oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp sugar
15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
1-lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups shredded cheese of choice, divided
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
Cooking spray
Salt and ground black pepper
Sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro- for garnish

Directions:
1. Combine the onion, jalapeno, salt and oil in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes.
2. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the tomato sauce, water and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.
4. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool slightly.
5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 13x9 baking dish.
6. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible, set aside. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t need to add any extra salt).
7. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
8. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 30-45 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
9. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don’t like the crunch).
10. Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.
11. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Originally from America’s Test Kitchen, as seen on Bella’s Bistro who adapted it from Pink Parsley and Tide and Thyme

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