Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas

Over the holidays, I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with my uncle from Texas. It wasn't the best of circumstances that brought him up to Pennsylvania in December, but seeing as it had been years since I'd seen him, it was great to catch up. We bonded immensely over our love of food, every conversation seemed to find its way to how awesome bacon is, our favorite ethnic dishes, and where to get great tamales in Texas.

When he initially traveled up by car, he had brought a ton of his favorite Texan Mexican ingredients, because he was concerned he'd miss some of his favorites while in rural Pennsylvania. He ended up flying home several weeks later, and since he couldn't take it with him, he gifted me what he hadn't used. This included salsa from New Mexico, sliced canned jalapenos, jars of his favorite enchilada sauce, and much more. To use some of this up, I'd need a fiesta.  So that's just what I did earlier this week for the Oscars when I invited a few friends over for Mexican food. One of the dishes I made were chicken enchiladas, from a "easy-to-make" recipe by Tyler Florence. It's not that this recipe was difficult, I just found that some of instructions weren't helpful, such as coating the corn tortillas with enchilada sauce to make them stick when you roll them up. This just made them crumble. So I adjusted the instructions accordingly, and while these didn't look as pretty as restaurant-made enchiladas, they still tasted pretty damn good. And that's what counts, right?

Chicken Enchiladas (serves 8)


  • 3 TB vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Mexican Spice Blend
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes
Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.
Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them easier to use. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce.  Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.

1 comment:

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