Chicken Enchiladas

Easy, pretty quick and delicious. One of the best recipes I’ve seen in Everyday Food, so I only tweaked it a bit. Ole!

Ingredients:

2 skin-on split chicken breasts
1 jalapeno pepper
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in puree (or crushed tomatoes in puree)
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the chicken. This method is Ina Garten’s and I use it for EVERYTHING. Chicken salad, tacos, sandwiches, chicken pot pie, etc. The chicken is moist and flavorful and perfect.  Line a sheet pan with foil and place the chicken in the center. Drizzle the meat with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper.  I use about a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 minutes and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting it up.

Peel off the skin and cut the breast out of the bone. Pull the meat apart into bite size chunks.

Appease your whining dog with a small piece of chicken so he’ll stop growling at you.

While the meat is cooking, cut up the vegetables and prepare the other ingredients. Finely chop the small onion, the clove of garlic and the jalapeno pepper.

The seeds and ribs of the pepper are what hold all the heat. I would recommend using thin food prep gloves when handling them, but I never remember to buy them.

Don’t pull the seeds out with your hands, use a spoon to scoop them into the garbage. Try to chop up the pepper quickly and then wash your hands really well with soap and COLD water. If you don’t wash your hands well you will have some insane burning for a few hours.

Combine the onions, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder and set them aside. I accidentally put the chopped garlic in there too, but you should keep that separate because garlic cooks very quickly and should only be sauteed at the end.

Heat one tablespoon canola or vegetable oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Saute the onions, chili powder and jalapeno pepper for 6-8 minutes, until the onions are tender. Add the chopped garlic clove for the final 1-2 minutes.

If you can’t find whole peeled tomatoes in puree, you can use crushed tomatoes in puree. Just don’t use tomatoes in juice because the sauce will be too watery. Add 1/2 cup water and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer (just below boiling) and let it cook for 2o minutes, stirring occasionally. When it’s thickened, add the lime juice and season with salt if necessary.

While the sauce cooks, shred the Monterey Jack cheese. Don’t be tempted to buy already shredded cheese! Not only is it a lot more expensive, but it is covered with chemical stabilizers that give it a funny texture. Shred the cheese yourself and you can save money and say you’ve exercised.

Corn tortillas are found in the refrigerator section, sometimes by the cheese and sometimes by the crescent rolls.

I’m a little concerned that they felt the need to tell me there is no lard in them. Um, thanks?

Next comes the assembly line to form the enchiladas. The tortillas need to be heated before they can be rolled. Heat a saute pan over a medium flame and warm each tortilla for 10-15 seconds on each side. As each one comes off the pan, fill it with 2 ounces of chicken and an ounce of cheese. When you’ve filled the eight tortillas, you should be finished with the chicken, but still have two good handfuls of cheese.

Lay each enchilada down in a 9×12 pan, seam side down. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake at 450 for 7 minutes, or until the cheese is all melted. Put the broiler on high and cook for another two or three minutes until the top starts to brown. Once that broiler starts cookin’ your food will burn faster than you spell enchilada so watch out!

Mmmmmmm.

Printable Version

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