Monday, January 9, 2012
Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
I know ya’ll have seen these enchiladas on the blogosphere (because I have too). I had bookmarked, printed, pinterested, mentally noted… and FINALLY, by golly, I’ve MADE them! And you know what? They were every bit as amazing as I dreamed they would be!
Oh. my. goodness.
Look at these beauties:
The hubs’ parents came to visit us this past weekend, and I remembered that my mother in-law LOVES enchiladas. Well, naturally, these babies came to mind and I KNEW I had to make them! Boy am I glad I did! They were DELICIOUS.
These enchiladas and creamy (and a little crunchy on the edges), cheesy, saucy, and UH.MAZ.ING. I honestly don’t know what else to say about them (I’m a bit tongue tied)… but I think the pictures speak for themselves!
**To take an already amazing dish to an ever higher level… top them with your favorites (and mine): Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Pickled Jalapenos, Black Olives, and Cilantro. Oh, and serve them with a side of rice and Crockpot “Refried” Beans – YES. Please!
Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
To take this already amazing dish to an ever higher level... top them with your favorites (and mine): Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Pickled Jalapenos, Black Olives, and Cilantro.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 rounded tablespoons chili powder
3 rounded teaspoons ground cumin
3 level teaspoons sugar
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3 chicken breasts)
6 ounces extra sharp cheddar, shredded
6 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
3/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
14 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
salt and ground black pepper
a pinch of cayenne
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, jalapenos, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together well. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onions and jalapenos have softened, about 8-12 minutes.
While the onions and jalapenos are cooking: mix together the chili powder, cumin, and sugar in a small bowl. Once they have softened, stir in the garlic and the spice mixture (chili powder, cumin, and sugar) and cook until fragrant (be sure to stir constantly), only 30-45 seconds.
Next, Add the cans of tomato sauce, the water, and the chopped tomato. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce, trying to cover them as much as possible. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is completely cooked (thickest part of chicken breast must reach 160° F), about 12-25 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a plate, and allow to cool to touch. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium sized bowl. Press on the onion mixture with a spatula to remove as much liquid as possible. Place the onions into a large bowl and set aside.
Taste the sauce and then season it with additional salt and pepper to taste (and a dash or 2 of cayenne if you like an extra little kick).
Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in the bowl with the onion mixture. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 1/2 cups cheese (3/4 cup of each kind), and the cilantro. Gently toss until combined well.
Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with a paper towel. Microwave on high until warm, 40-60 seconds. One at a time, spoon about 1/4-1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll tortilla and lay seam-side down into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place enchiladas in the oven, uncovered, for about 7-12 minutes, or until the tortillas are nice and golden brown.
Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top (down the center) and then top with the remaining cheese. Place back into oven and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Top with Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Pickled Jalapenos, Black Olives, and Cilantro