Tag Archives: Cheese

Chicken Enchiladas: It’s what for dinner!

7 Jan
Chicken Enchiladas

Mmmm! Ole`

Recently I lamented about  my lack of finding something good to eat. I just wasn’t feeling it, guys.  Usually when I feel this way, I sit in front of my pantry and work through my block. I had an idea, but I needed to do a bit of research, so I asked a few friends and read a bunch of recipes. This is what I came up with based on what I had available to me, and a taste for something spicy, cheesy and warm on a frigid night.

Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4 to 8 people
( 1 – 2 enchiladas per person)

3 cups cooked chicken, Or
3  boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 cup water
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas ( warmed)
1 cup refried beans, optional
¼ cup taco sauce
1 cup pasta sauce
½ cup diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup Goya Sofrito*
¼ cup banana peppers, diced**
½ cup banana pepper juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2  tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 tbl. chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Garnishes: Thinly-sliced red onion, green onions, chopped green or black olives, sour cream, additional shredded cheese.

If using cooked chicken, clean chicken from all bones and skin. Measure 3 cups and skip to preparing sauce.

Prepare chicken: Heat oven to 325
In an oven-proof pan ( glass, metal, iron) , place chicken breasts and the cup of water; covered,  in an oven and cook breasts until done, about 3-40 minutes. Remove from oven, place chicken on plate to cool and discard liquid, or freeze for sauces later. When chicken is cold, shred breasts, by either pulling apart into tiny bite-size pieces, or pull apart using the tines of two forks.

While chicken is cooling, Prepare Sauce: Combine taco sauce, sofrito, pasta sauce, banana peppers and the juice. Whisk until combined and add ½ tablespoon of the cilantro to the sauce. Set aside.

Make filling: Mix cumin, chili powder, ¼ cup of sauce, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses and toss with the cooled, shredded chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking pan with cooking spray, and place ¼ cup of the prepared sauce in bottom of pan and coat.

Assemble enchiladas: Spoon 1 tablespoon refried beans on the warmed tortilla. Place a bit of the chicken filling in the tortilla and roll. Place filled tortilla seam side down in baking dish. Repeat and place filled tortilla next to one another. Take remaining sauce and pour evenly over the enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese and cilantro. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

Top with garnishes of your choice and serve one with a side salad as a light lunch, or two for a filling and hearty meal.

*Goya Sofrito is a sauce base containing tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onions and spices. It is available in most markets in the international isle.

** I had sliced banana peppers in the jar, so I used that. If you want to use fresh peppers, do so and add the juice of a  fresh lime.

There are various ways to warm the tortillas. You can either saute them in a bit of olive oil for 1-2 minutes on each side until pliable. Drain on paper towels.

(2) You can wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

(3) You can turn the gas burner on you stove and place the tortilla, one at a time on the burner and turn over the open flame 2 seconds on each side until soft.

You must warm the tortillas. There is no way around it. But don’t be a lazy ass and throw them in the microwave! It will make the tortillas tough.

Culinary Chick

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