I grew up in the Southwest where Mexican food was abundant and super easy to find. Some places were better than others, as is common everywhere. Sometimes I miss my favorite red cheese enchiladas from my favorite Mexican restaurant restaurant as well as their best in the whole universe freshly made tortilla chips and tomato salsa. Whenever I visit, I hit that place and take a whole vat of that salsa home with me. A must! I have yet to duplicate their red sauce for enchiladas but it will be happening folks…I promise you that. I need that red sauce in my life! LOL
Since moving to the country, I now make my own Mexican food if we aren’t in the city near us including this dish called Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas. For the self proclaimed Mexican Food Specialists out there..of which I know there are many, this is totally gringo style but oh so utterly flavorful and ah-mazing.
I made these last night after a day outside with the family. We were super hungry after working outside in the garden, mowing the super size lawn, feeding and watering the chicks, and taking a family walk, these chicken enchiladas were just perfect to fill our hungry bellies. I made a double batch as I do every time so next time we get the bug for some enchilada goodness, these will be ready to go.
- 3 Chicken Breasts, Boiled or Steamed and Shredded (I boil until done in half chicken broth/half water)
- 1 Tsp. Olive Oil
- 3/4 C. Diced White Onion
- 1, 4 oz. can of Fire Roasted Green Chiles
- 5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1/2 C. Fresh Cilantro (halved-1/4 C. for filling and 1/4 C. for sprinkling on top)
- 1, 28 oz. can of Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
- 3 C. of Montery Jack Shredded Cheese (I sometimes mix pepper jack in too, depending on what I have on hand.)
- 1 Package of Corn Tortillas (I use Tortilla Land which are uncooked)
- Sour Cream
- Cut your chicken breasts up into thirds. Either steam them or boil them to cook through. Drain and shred the meat. Tip-to make this super easy on you, if you have a Kitchenaid Mixer, you can place the hot steamed or boiled meat in the Kitchenaid bowl and use the dough hook to shred it up nicely and quickly. Careful not to start it off too fast. Start off on low as hot chicken flying can happen if you start the dough hook too fast. This method works well only if the chicken is still hot. The fibers tighten up if you allow the meat to cool.
- For the enchiladas, heat the olive oil in a large cast iron pan on med/high. Add the diced onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the drained can of green chiles to the onion. Saute an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and stir into onions and green chiles for 30 -40 seconds. Add 3/4 of large can of enchilada sauce to the mixture of veggies in the cast iron pan. Add the shredded chicken and 1/4 C. cilantro and stir the mixture together to combine evenly.
- Preheat your oven to 350
- To assemble your enchiladas, using a 9 by 13 inch greased pan, place a cooked corn tortilla in the baking pan. (If using the Tortilla Land Corn Tortillas, you will need to follow package directions to cook the tortilla first. These come in the refrigerated section and I find them to be fresher than the tortillas on the end cap in the grocery store.)
- Spoon the enchilada mixture (about 2-3 tbsp)and a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese over the mixture in the tortilla. Wrap the tortilla around the mixture by folding each side as if hugging the mixture and turn the seam side down to face the pan. Repeat. Place the enchilada filled tortillas in a long row and allow them to sit snug next to each other. Reserve enough cheese to sprinkle on top. Once your pan is full of enchiladas lined up next to each other- about 10, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top. If you have any extra chicken mixture you can spoon that over the top as well. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cilantro. Place in the oven for 15 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the enchiladas to heat through.
This recipe doubles nicely. I am a big believer in getting double for the trouble. If the food processor comes out to shred cheese, I am shredding enough for a couple big portions. If you've ever washed the pieces of a food processor, you know what I am talking about. If I have time, I will assemble a second pan and freeze for another meal. If I don't have the time, I will make enough of the the enchilada mixture by doubling all the ingredients except the tortillas and cheese and freeze a large Zip Loc of the enchilada mixture. The next time I make these enchiladas, I will just need to defrost the enchilada mixture reheat it, and construct the enchiladas in the pan using the same directions above,
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