The last three things I blogged about were all brown, so I’m going to change the pace a bit and share these chicken enchiladas. As I mentioned before, there are virtually no Mexicans where we live. This was a huge surprise – we’d thought that there would have to be Mexicans in Spain! I guess they all decided to emigrate to other countries instead. So, sadly, there is only one Mexican restaurant in the La Coruña area, and we hear it’s expensive so we haven’t eaten there yet. All of this means that whenever we have a hankering for Mexican food, we make it at home. These chicken enchiladas take a bit of work, but they are so worth it. The recipe is modified from Cook’s Illustrated.
- 1 medium onion , chopped fine
- ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 32 oz. tomato sauce (In Spain: 800g of Tomate Triturado)
- 1½ cups water
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), trimmed of excess fat
- Ground black pepper
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese , shredded (2 cups) (In Spain: 6-8 cheddar cheese slices; Carrefour sells them)
- 1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapeños , drained and chopped (In Spain: El Corte Inglés and Alcampo sell jarred jalapeños; I use about 6 pieces)
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
- 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas, or about 7 flour tortillas
- Vegetable cooking spray (I omit this, since I haven’t found this in Spain.)
- Sour cream for serving. (In Spain: Griego yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream)
- 1 lime , cut into wedges for serving
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the onion, oil, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Toss together the shredded chicken, ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of the cheddar, the jalapeños, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If using flour tortillas, proceed to Step 5. If using corn tortillas, stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40 to 60 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface.
- Place ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
- Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour 2 cups of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Serve, passing the remaining sauce and the lime wedges separately.
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