Sunday, November 08, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

Credit: I made some tweaks though

This should make about 8 enchiladas

Suggestion: This recipe is a pain in the ass - I recommend doubling the ingredients and then freezing a tray.


1.5 lbs chicken breasts (or tenders)
2 qts water
2 Tbs salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 bay leaf

Enchilada sauce
5 Ancho chilies
5 Guajillo chilies
1 large onion
3 large cloves garlic
2 Tbs oil
15 oz can tomato sauce (pureed tomatoes)
2C water
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Meican oregano

1/2 C crumbled queso fresco (try to get some low fat cheese)

Wash the chicken breasts and trim any fat, skin or tendon from the meat. Heat the water, salt, cumin, oregano and bay leaf to a boil. Add the chicken and return to a boil. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Let it sit for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. When it’s done, strain the chicken and shred.

For the enchilada sauce, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the chilies with oil, place on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant (about 7 minutes), be careful not to burn them or they will be bitter. When they’re done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool off enough to touch. Tear the stems off and remove all the seeds. Boil some water. Soak the roasted chilies in boiling water until re-hydrated, about 45 minutes.

In a food processor, puree the onions and garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the pureed onion and garlic until reduced down to about 1/4 of the original volume and it’s nice and caramelized. This will take 20-30 minutes, but it’s where a lot of the flavor comes from so it’s worth the wait.

When the chiles are re hydrated, add them to the food processor and blitz until pureed. Add this to the caramelized onions, then add the tomato sauce, water, sugar, salt, cumin and oregano. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the enchilada sauce has thickened and the flavors have had a chance to meld. Pass the sauce through a mesh sieve to remove the chili skins and mix about a 1/3 of the strained sauce with the chicken.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put a couple spoonfuls of chicken into each tortilla and roll. In a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish, lay each enchilada down with the seam side down. Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the queso fresco on top. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.