Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Chicken" Enchiladas

 So today was a particularly long day at work because I am starting to get sick, which is an extremely rare occurrence.  I almost contemplated waiting to make these until I could muster up some energy but I am really glad I got myself to go through with it!  Wow..I mean, wow, these are GOOD.  Talk about a nice warm and filling dinner to deal with the cold New England nights.  Personally, I'm not crazy about these winter months (mainly because it gets dark so early which makes me feel particularly unmotivated), but I do appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons around here.  No matter how long you live in this area I don't think anyone ever quite gets used to the frigid weather, which is why people turn to hearty foods that make them feel warm and cozy inside..and this sure did it for me.  It's bursting with flavors and even though it takes a little bit of time to whip up, it is definitely worth it.  I found that using my food processor helped a lot and probably reduced a lot of time for chopping.  Instead of using real chicken breast I substituted 2 boxes of Quorn's "chicken" breasts (8) in the recipe and it even got a thumbs up from Dave.  Next time I plan on getting vegan cheese by Daiya and vegan faux chicken (Quorn's has egg whites in them) to see how they come out.  The homemade sauce has the perfect amount of spice and savory flavors to really give these a kick.  I happen to like spicy foods so I also doubled the amount of chili powder and threw in a little extra jalapeno, which I think also really added to them.  I will definitely be making these again!

1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine (I used 2 1/2)
1 tsp. canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder (I used 6)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. sugar
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 8 Quorn faux chicken breasts)
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
Cooking spray

Combine the onion, jalapeno and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds.  Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato.  Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat 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 completely cooked through (160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer), about 12-20 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a large mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing down on the onions and tomatoes to extract as much liquid as possible.  Transfer the reserved solids to a large bowl and set aside.  Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the bowl with the onion mixture.  Add in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses, and the cilantro.  Stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Oil a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.  Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable.  Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla.  Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down.  Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.
Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray.  Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚ F.  Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top.  Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned.  Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from: Annie's Eats


  1. They look fabulous! I now crave mexican food!

    Take care of yourself and I hope you feel better!

    Love, Auntie Susan

  2. I think Gardein Chikn would be great for the vegan version! These look yummy!