Love love LOVE Mexican food. It’s a recent thing for me too. I mean, I’ve always liked it, but I didn’t really start making it at home or requesting to go out for until about a year ago. Enchiladas are my absolute fave and this is my absolute favorite recipe I’ve found so far. I like it because it has a really flavorful red sauce and doesn’t involve any kind of creamy/sour cream based filling (ick). The cinnamon adds an interesting flavor that I love. It’s an easy and yummy recipe and it’s one of Eric’s absolute favorite meals. My changes are in italics.
CHICKEN ENCHILADAS (Recipe Source: Rachael Ray)
- 8 soft flour tortillas
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 medium to large onion, quartered
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons hot cayenne pepper sauce (several drops)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2 pinches)
- 2 teaspoon chili powder, divided
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 1/2 cups Monterey Jack shredded cheese (I use a Colby Jack blend)
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (optional) (I don’t love the flavor of raw cilantro, so I chop up some scallions to toss on top.)
Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven, or wrap in a damp cloth towel and warm up in the microwave. (I’m a fan of the warming tortillas by “grilling” them on my stovetop burner, about 15 seconds on each side, just to get some color to them. I wait and do this step when I’m ready to assemble my enchiladas.)
Place a medium size skillet on the stove over high heat. Add chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano and onion, and bring up to a bubble. Add chicken breasts and bring back to a bubble, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium. Poach chicken in broth 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the stock and let it cool a bit so that you can handle it. Reserve broth and set aside.
While the chicken is poaching, make the enchilada sauce: in a sauce pan, combine the tomato sauce, hot sauce, cinnamon and one teaspoon of chili powder. Bring up to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, keeping sauce warm until you are ready to use it.
Shred the cooled chicken into small strips using two forks or your fingers. Transfer the shredded meat to a bowl and add 1/2 cup of reserved broth, tomato paste, one teaspoon chili powder and one teaspoon cumin; season with a little salt and pepper
Remove tortillas from oven and switch broiler on high. (I’ve never broiled in my oven. Frankly, it makes me nervous. I know I should just get over it, but I haven’t yet! I heat my oven to 400 degrees)
Pour a little of the enchilada sauce, about 1/4 cup, on the bottom of a casserole or baking dish. (I also grease my dish, they have a tendancy to stick.) Divide chicken mixture equally between the warm tortillas by piling it up on the bottom half of each tortilla and rolling into a tube.
Place enchiladas seam side down on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Once all the enchiladas are in the pan, pour remaining hot tomato sauce over them and top with cheese.
Place enchiladas in hot oven six inches from broiler and broil five minutes to melt cheese and set enchiladas. (I bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.) Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro (scallions) and serve. (I let mine set for about 5 minutes before serving, keeps them from falling apart.)