Chicken Enchiladas – A Healthier Option

06cEnchiladasbfLOI make these pretty terrific chicken enchiladas, from a recipe given to me by my mom in law – and they are very, very good.

But… they call for a can of cream soup, plus sour cream, plus bottled salsa, plus flour tortillas, plus; well, you get the picture.

So, at a time of the year where we’re trying to undo some of the dietary excess of the holiday season, I thought these were worth a try. Lighter filling, corn tortillas, home made sauce. And they are also very, very good.

01bWaterbfLONote: I adapted this recipe from the very nice folk at Everyday Food published on the interwebs.

Chicken and Stock:
•2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
•Chopped sweet onion
01cSimmerbfLO•Chopped fresh parsley
•Black pepper
Aleppo pepper

•Shredded, cooked chicken
•1 cup sweet onion, diced
•1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
•2 tbsp veggie oil
•1/4 cup flour
•1/2 tsp cumin
02aChickenShredbfLO•1/2 tsp BBQ chicken rub*
•2 tbsp minced chipotle in adobo
•3 cups chicken stock (see above)
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your preferred hot sauce, to taste)
•2 tbsp sherry
•Salt, pepper, 1 tsp sugar
•8 corn tortillas
•1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese

StockBackupbfLO*OR, just use one full teaspoon of  cumin.

Add water to a Dutch oven along with the veggies and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the chicken, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand until the chicken is cooked through – about 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from the stock and shred with a couple of forks or your fingers. Let cool, then stir in the one cup of diced sweet onion from the enchilada recipe.

03bCookFlourbfLOStrain veggies from the cooking liquid to use as your chicken stock.

Add two tablespoons of veggie oil to the Dutch oven and warm over medium heat.

Add the garlic, cook for one minute, then, using a whisk, add the flour, cumin and/or chicken rub and the minced chipotle and cook for another minute.

03cWhiskStockbfLOWhisk in the chicken stock, Sherry Peppers, and Cajun Power sauce and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking every now and then, until the sauce has thickened; about eight minutes. Taste about half way through – I added two tablespoons of sherry.

Note: REAL sherry, not that ‘cooking sherry’ stuff. You can pick up a quite decent bottle for well under $10 at Trader Joe’s and no doubt at many other fine establishments, and it’ll last for a good long while once opened, so, what’s to lose?

04aSaucePanbfLOTaste and add salt and pepper, if you think it needs it.

Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce across the bottom of an eight inch square baking pan and heat your oven to 400º.

Dampen a couple of paper towels (I flicked water at them), then wrap them around the corn tortillas and place on a ‘wave-safe plate.

TortillaChickOnionbfLO‘Wave until hot – mebbe one minute, then remove and set up an assembly line: filling (chicken and onion) clean flat board or plate (to fill and roll the enchiladas), then the eight inch square baking dish.

Unwrap the tortillas, place one on the board or plate, and fill as shown – start about in the middle and with the filling reaching toward one end – with some of the onion and chicken mixture – I will confess that I did not measure the filling, so it may very well be safe to arrange all eight up on a large, clean surface, then fill each evenly.

05bEnchiladasPanbfLORoll the tortilla up starting from the end closer to the filling, folding it up and over, then rolling, tighten the roll as you go to push the filling to the edges of the tortilla, then arrange, seam side down, in the baking dish. Don’t worry about making them too tight, eight enchiladas will be a tight-ish fit in this size pan (a good thing), so you will be tightening them in the pan as you add more of the rolled enchiladas.

05dCheesebfLORepeat with the remaining filling and enchiladas, arranging them next to each other in the baking dish as shown.

Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, then top with the shredded cheese.

Bake until hot and bubbly – mebbe 15 or 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to rest for five minutes before serving.

06bToppedbfLOI served ours with refried black beans on the side, and with freshly shredded lettuce, tomato, and scallions to sprinkle over the top.

Tasty enchiladas, and really not too, too bad for you, but…

Rich was thinkin’… “what if you made a batch of the Green Chile Cream Cheese Dip and added some of that to each tortilla along with the chicken and onion mixture?”

Not quite as healthy, no doubt, but also no doubt very, very good – and still no cream of something soup in sight, so, winner, mebbe?

We are still repenting (a bit) for the holidays. Details on this option, to come…

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