Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas


I love enchiladas! I prefer either green sauce or ranchera sauce to red sauce on mine.  Today I decided to make a pan of enchiladas for dinner.  Because I am working hard to clear out and clean up my over stocked, hot mess of a pantry I used canned chicken for these so they really can't be easier.  I like my enchiladas made with flour tortillas but really any part of this can be adapted to your tastes. Like corn tortillas? Use that. prefer red sauce? Go for it.  Want cheese or beef or carnitas instead? Knock it out.  Enchiladas are simple, easy and infinitely adaptable.  


You'll need your filling, canned chicken and cheese in this case, your tortillas I used 8 soft taco sized flour tortillas, sauce I used a can of Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada sauce (I wanted a big can but the small size was all they had so I added some green chiles and water to stretch it, a skillet big enough for the tortilla to lay flat in, 2 8x8in pans or  a 9x11 if you are making a single batch of 8, and a small sauce pan. 

First I worked on stretching the can of enchilada sauce this step is totally unnecessary if you can just buy a larger can but Target was totally over shopped so I took a can of green chiles that I had in the cabinet tossed it in the Ninja and filled that same can with water and pureed it then mixed it in the saucepan with the enchilada sauce.  I am now thinking that I'm going to be making my enchilada sauce from scratch cause its literally just chiles and water.

Next I opened the chicken and mushed it up with my hands so that it was shredded I added a tablespoon or two of enchilada sauce and some Mexican seasoning mix (garlic, onion, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper) to get rid of that fresh out of the can flavor.  We always have grated cheese in the fridge so I just used what I needed and didn't really measure.  Its about a cup, cup and a half worth of cheese.

Now that your sauce and fillings are prepped, turn the oven to 350 and get ready to make the enchiladas.  Coat the bottom of your baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce and place next to your stove.  Wherever you have enough room line up the cheese and chicken fillings with a fork in them.  Make sure only the tortillas you are using are out of the bag and ready to use.  Pour a small portion of enchilada sauce into the large skillet and turn it on very low heat.

Lay a single tortilla in the skillet, let sit for a few seconds and flip, if you can see tortilla through the sauce you need to let it sit a little longer until it is totally coated in a film of sauce.

Move your sauced tortilla to your baking pan.  Add 1 to 2 fork fulls of chicken and one fork full of both cheeses.  Since your hands are totally coated in sauce you'll get a total chicken and cheese claw hand if you don't use the forks.  Its up to you but if you are using the cheese again later I recommend the forks.  Roll the enchilada up and place it so that the opening faces down in the pan.  Repeat.

You should be able to fit about 4 enchiladas in the 8x8 pan.  Repeat with the second pan.  Why two pans? So you can freeze one for later. Top with cheese.  I also had some cotija cheese that I was looking to use up so I added it to my topping and some cilantro and black olives cause olives are delicious and that's how my dad does it. Pour a thin layer of sauce over the top of the enchiladas.  How saucy you like them is up to you, if you are running low on sauce add a little water and stir,  I don't like them super wet cause they just start to dissolve.
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until brown along the edges and cheese is melted and they are hot through.

So what about that second pan? Wrap it up in saran wrap and foil and then label and date.  Later you just take that out of the freezer one afternoon let it defrost and pop in the oven for a super duper easy dinner.  If you have many folks doing dinner prep or are sharing food or are just forgetful write the temp and cook time on the foil as well.
Since there are just two of us in the house this will give us two dinners and two lunches.  Not too bad.  I always do better actually taking the leftovers for lunch if I immediately put it away in lunch box sized containers.





Ingredients

cooked chicken (I used canned today)
1 cup cheese cheddar/jack blend
8 soft taco sized tortillas
1 large can green enchilada sauce (there was only a small can at the store so I stretched mine)
cotija cheese, olives, cilantro for topping (optional)

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