Monday, March 15, 2010

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Fun idea for using up leftover roast chicken #1:  chicken enchiladas!  We love enchiladas.  Seriously.  Love.  It seemed only natural to take some of the leftovers from yesterday's perfect roast chicken and turn them into a delicious platter of saucy, cheesy tortillas filled with goodness. 

I will admit, without (too much) shame, that this is barely a homemade recipe.  Enchilada sauce from a jar?  Come on!  Well, if you have the time and the will to make your own, please do.   It's easy enough.  But today I came home from work wanting enchiladas, and wanting them fast.  I had a jar of Trader Joe's enchilada sauce in the cupboard.  It was meant to be.

I experimented with a healthier preparation technique gleaned from the fabulous Simply Recipes blog - rather than frying each tortilla in oil, you stretch a small amount of oil among many tortillas just to soften and warm them.

These came out delicious.  Make sure you use a good enchilada sauce, because it will make a difference - buy one you trust, or go ahead and make your own.  You can, of course, make any kind of enchiladas following this method - double the cheese to make cheese enchiladas, or substitute a different type of meat or vegetable for the chicken.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas
serves 3-4


8 ounces of red enchilada sauce, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded leftover roast chicken, white and/or brown meat
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar, divided
2 teaspoons canola oil (more if necessary)
10 white corn tortillas
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


1.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce with the chicken and half the cheddar cheese.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

2.  In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm up 1 teaspoon of canola oil.  When it's hot, add the first tortilla.  Move it around to spread the oil, then flip with tongs after about 5 seconds.  Immediately stack another tortilla on top of the oily side of the first.  This will absorb some of the oil into the second tortilla.  Flip over both tortillas after about 5 seconds.  Repeat this process, gradually adding each tortilla to the oily side of the previous tortilla.  Add additional oil to the pan as oil is absorbed.  When all the tortillas are warmed, transfer them to a plate.

3.  Put a 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish and spread.  Build the enchiladas one at a time - take a tortilla and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture in a line across the middle.  Roll the tortilla around the chicken mixture and place seam-side down in the baking sheet, on top of the sauce.  Repeat with all 10 tortillas, tucking them in to fill up the baking dish.

4.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas in the baking dish, trying to distribute it evenly.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar and 1/4 cup mozzarella.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is starting to bubble.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.


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