These are pretty versatile. Add in a little black beans and corn kernels to give it a bit of a Tex-Mex flare. Or not. You can use either corn or flour tortillas. I've tried both, and they are each wonderful. I normally make them with flour just because that's my husbands preference. Omit the jalapenos if you want (I usually do). Or leave them in. You can really just use whatever cheese you may have on hand... mexican blend, cheddar, monterey jack, white cheddar.
Also... these make really good leftovers. Really really good. Once the spices and flavors have sat overnight, mmmmmhm... I always look forward to having them for lunch the next time. My mouth is watering just thinking about eating our leftovers tomorrow..
And the cilantro... do not skimp on the cilantro! I only paid $0.89 for this bunch... it's worth the splurge. ;) I just love herbs, and it will give your dish such a fresh taste. This dish is definitely not a 'quick weeknight meal'... it takes up a little more time, but I promise you it's well worth it. Because it's a bit more time-consuming, I usually make these as a weekend meal. You could even use a rotisserie chicken to cut the time down a little. We have them at least once a month I'd say - you should give them a try! You won't be disappointed.
Favorite Chicken Enchiladas
adapted from Pink Parsley
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 2 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
- 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
- 12 (8-inch) soft corn (or flour) tortillas
- cooking spray
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the onion, jalapenos, and oil in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Place onion mixture in a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add to the bowl along with the onion mixture. Add in 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13x9-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cook spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes until the tortillas are starting to slightly brown on the top.
Reduce oven temperature to 400. Remove enchiladas from oven and pour remaining sauce over to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup monterey jack down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with extra cilantro. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, etc..