Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas

I live in a state with a lot of Mexican food.  I am also lucky enough to have eaten Mexican food prepared by Mexicans (and not just eaten Americanized Mexican food).  One of the things that shocked my husband was ordering a chicken burrito at a Mexican restaurant.  He looked at me and said there is only chicken inside.  I laughed and said that it was the way Mexicans eat Mexican food.  It isn't filled with all sorts of things that we Americans can possibly think to add to make it not really Mexican food anymore.  This version of chicken enchiladas is definitely Americanize as there are things added to just the meat.  It is based on a recipe found on Food Network, but modified to spice it up a little more.  If you have not used chipotle peppers before, you might want to start with one or two as they add heat quickly.

Chicken Enchiladas
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (boneless)
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 green chilies, finely chopped (I used a combination of serrano and jalapeno)
4 chipotle chilies (from a canned), chopped
1 28oz. can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
about 16 corn tortillas
1 28 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Garnish: scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a large pan with olive oil.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Brown chicken over medium heat (about 7 minutes each side) until no longer pink.  Sprinkle chicken with powdered spices above before turning over.  Remove chicken to a platter to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in the chicken drippings until tender and clear.  Add the chiles.  Stir to combine.  Add canned tomatoes and saute for about a minute.

Pull the chicken apart....the easiest way to do this is to put it in the mixer and turn on a lower speed.  My KitchAid does this in about a minute.  Add the shredded chicken to the saute pan with the vegetables.  Dust with corn starch to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds (this prevents them from breaking).  Coat the bottom of a 9x12 inch pan with enchilada sauce.  Dip the tortillas in enchilada sauce and fill with chicken mixture.   Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese melts and mixture is hot throughout.  Serve garnished with cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, scallions and chopped tomatoes.   Serves about 8 (2 enchiladas per person).
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