Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

  Homemade enchiladas with Fiesta Rice and cheesy, refried black beans.  Mucho gusto!

One of the benefits of living in southern California, is the availability of authentic Mexican food.  If you love Mexican food the way I do, you'll appreciate this fast and easy recipe for red enchilada sauce.  The canned sauce sold in the grocery store is usually bitter and tinny tasting.  All you really need to make this sauce taste authentic, is the canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce.  Once again, the smoked chile gives the sauce a nice heat without overpowering the other flavors.  Be careful though, use only one chile, not the entire can.

1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 garlic cloves, or 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (just one chile from a small can) See Note Below
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) chicken broth
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole, large rotisserie chicken (3 cups cooked chicken)
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (10 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeno pepper
10 fresh corn tortillas
1 fresh avocado, pint sour cream, sliced black olives, sliced green onion

Process tomato sauce, onion, garlic, chipotle chile, cumin, coriander, salt and broth, in the large bowl of a food processor or blender.  Heat oil in a deep skillet, add the tomato mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Strip the meat from a rotisserie chicken (dark and light meat), and shred.  Toss the shredded chicken with 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of cheese, cilantro and jalapenos.

Place five tortillas in a ziplock bag with a sprinkling of water.  Zip bag, leaving a 1/2 inch vent at one end.  Place the bag in the microwave for 1 minute, checking each 20 seconds for pliability.  Tortillas not steamed until pliable, will crack and break when rolled.

At a clean work surface, carefully remove one tortilla at a time.  Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of the tortilla, and roll the tortilla.  Place, seam-side down, in a 13 x 9 glass casserole that has been sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil.  Continue until all tortillas have been used (place plastic wrap directly on top of enchiladas, and cover with tin foil to freeze).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with olive oil.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the entire casserole.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and bake until the cheese melts and the center of the casserole is hot and bubbling, about 15 minutes longer.

Garnish enchiladas with a dollop of sour cream, sliced avocado, black olives and green onion.  Serve with Fiesta Rice, Rancho Red Beans, or refried beans, and a frosty mug of  good Mexican beer like Dos Equis or Bohemia.  Serves 4 - 5 adults.

Note:  I place the remaining chilies in a small ziplock and freeze them for future use.

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