Thursday, February 2, 2012

Better Than Numero Cinco - Chicken Enchiladas

What's your favorite ethnic food?  I like Italian and Greek, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food, but I LOVE Mexican or Tex-Mex food.  It is my favorite.  All of the flavors speak to me somewhere deep in my soul, a primal place.  Perhaps I once lived in Mexico or the deep Southwest in another life.  It's really hard to say.  I just know from the moment I tasted Mexican food, I was hooked.

I had cooked those two whole chickens the other night when I made the chicken, broccoli super yummy casserole and I had a lot of chicken left.  Today was a busy day as I had my appointment for my visual field test and more pictures of my optic nerves.  In addition, our daughter had called and asked if we could watch our grandson for a bit while she got her hair done.  You know, there is nothing more important than a hair appointment, especially when you are 39 weeks pregnant!!  All you ladies will understand that!  So, we went over to play with little G while momma got her "hair did."  Then, off to the opthalmologist's office to finish up this year's eye examination and tests.  

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, sunny with clear blue skies.  People downtown were walking around in shorts and flip flops on February 2.  Talk about a great day!  Wow.  After we left the doctor's office, I told Dan that I thought we should have chicken enchiladas for supper.  I mean, come on - corn tortillas, chicken, cheese and green chiles in a beautiful bechamel sauce.  What could be better on such a gorgeous day?  So, we made a quick stop at the grocery before heading home to begin preparations for a delicious dinner.  Sunny days always make me want to cook something super good.  But then again, so do rainy days and cold days and every day I guess.  Who doesn't want good food to eat?  

I have made this recipe before and it is excellent.  I found it on where?  You guessed it - Pinterest - the world's greatest resource for all things yummy.  Here is what you will need.


10-12 corn tortillas
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
3 cups shredded jack cheese 
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour (or 1.5 tsp corn starch for gluten free)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 4 oz can diced green chiles

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 casserole with cooking spray.  

Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese in a bowl.  Roll up in tortillas and place in casserole dish.  

Here is a hint for your corn tortillas to keep them from breaking when rolling.  Make sure they are new tortillas.  Older ones break easier.  Heat a skillet and brush with cooking oil.  Heat a tortilla on each side for just a few seconds, dip in bechamel sauce, fill down the middle with chicken/cheese mixture, roll and place in casserole dish seam side down.   Not overfilling the tortillas also helps keep them from breaking.  If they do break, don't be alarmed.  You are going to cover them with sauce and cheese and no one will ever really know.

Making Bechamel sauce:

In a fairly deep saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour or corn starch, cooking for 1 min.  Add the chicken broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium until thick and bubbly.  Stir in sour cream and whole can of chiles.  Do not boil!  Remove pan from heat when you add the sour cream or your sour cream can curdle.  (This is the sauce you will dip your tortillas in before filling.)

Line the casserole with filled tortillas.  I had 12 in mine - two rows with 5 across and two across the bottom.     Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.  Top with 2 cups of shredded jack cheese.  Bake for 22 minutes and then broil for 2 - 3 minutes to brown the cheese.  Remove from the oven.  

This is a really easy and delicious recipe for all you enchilada lovers out there.  Be sure and use corn tortillas for authentic enchiladas.  Flour tortillas will tend to get gummy in the sauce anyway.  I served these enchiladas with black beans, rice and home made guacamole and chips.  Better than what we get at the local Mexican restaurant and way less expensive because we have left overs for tomorrow and fed 5 people this evening!  Wahoo!  

You can expect this recipe to feed 4 to  6 people easily if everyone eats two enchiladas and up to 12 if everyone has just one as they are very filling and oh so good!  I can tell you this, it's hard to eat just one, so make a double batch if you are expecting a crowd.

Give this recipe a try the next time you want something that is not too spicy, but very very tasty.  It's a great way to use left over chicken or you can even use one of the rotisserie chickens from the grocery.  This recipe can be made gluten free by substituting 1.5 tsp of corn starch for the flour in the bechamel sauce which I have done.  Talk about a great recipe to serve for a super bowl party this weekend!  Everyone will be talking about them and how good they are.  They will all want the recipe.

Tomorrow, I'm going to show you how to make super Mexican rice to complement your enchiladas - as good or better than they serve at your local restaurant!  It will even have that beautiful color they get and you always wonder how they do it.  It will no longer be a secret.  Now, how is that for temping you to come back tomorrow?

Everyday Donna

Things to remember:

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." -- Luciano Pavarotti

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