Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas ChaChaCha

I know, this does not look like neatly rolled chicken enchiladas tucked all in a row and baked up with a tidy trim of cheese. That's because I was in too much of a hurry to roll them one day and layered the whole business like one giant enchilada and it was not only fast, it was just delish. And not quite as "bready" as the individually rolled bunch. These are purely my version of enchiladas and there's nothing much authentic about them anyway. But I guarantee you'll love this dish. And you'll find so many other ways to use the chicken that makes up the filling. I like to slow cook the chicken breasts, so I start them around noon, on High, if I'm home that day or on Low first thing in the morning if I'm going to be gone all day.  They're ready when the meat easily falls apart when speared.     

Making the "BBQ" Chicken

First slice a very large sweet onion in half, then in slices and add to the bottom the crockpot. The chicken breasts go in next.Four will be plenty for this dish, but the sauce we'll use is enough for 6-8 and I often make extras for, perhaps, a dinner of BBQ Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, or a Chicken Salad with Almonds and White Grapes to which I add a spoonful of the cooking sauce in with the mayo as I mix it all together. [Excessive capital letters used for emphasis on deliciousness.] But, I digress. Let us return to the subject of that sauce. Whisk together 1 cup of ketchup and 1 cup of water.
Add these liquid ingredients: 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 tsp Worcestershire, 1 tsp (Crystal) Hot Sauce, 1/4 c White Vinegar, 1 stick of melted butter. Whisk to blend. I know that doesn't look like a stick of butter but trust me, it is. I buy uncut pounds of butter and divide them as needed. This may be a bad sign of some sort.
Whisk in the dry ingredients last: 2 tsp Chili Powder, 1 tsp Dry Mustard, 2 tsp salt, 1 cup Brown Sugar.

Pour sauce over the chicken and lift each piece a little to settle the sauce all the way down to the bottom of the pot. Now go off and leave it. (You can do this chicken in the oven for about an hour at 320 if you'd rather not wait on the slowness of the slowcooker.)

When ready, the chicken should pull apart easily with two forks. Or just go for it with clean hands and it will fall to shreds as soon as you pick it up. Save the sauce! We're going to use it later.
So, so, good. Sweet, spicy...go ahead and have some nibbles now. But don't get carried away unless you've made extra! It's time to turn this into a creamy enchilada filling with 1 cup sour cream, 1 tsp chili powder, and 1/2 tsp each of cumin, oregano, and salt. Mix together well and add to the shredded chicken.

Assembling the Enchilada

Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray and use a good flavored bottled Enchilada Sauce to coat the bottom of the pan. I use Trader Joe's or make my own. I'll add the recipe for it at the end in case you can't find Enchilada sauce that tastes good straight out of the bottle.

These are 8inch tortillas. Tear them to fit. It will take about 6 for the whole dish. In case you've forgotten those onions in the bottom of the pot, I have not. They are going to be the first layer once again before that luscious chicken filling comes in. Don't worry if they're sloppy with juice. Just makes it better.
Two cups of sharp cheddar cheese over the chicken. And top it all off with the last of the tortillas and sauce.
 I spoon on a cup or so of the cooking sauce along with the Enchilada Sauce to sweeten it up a bit. Plus, more cheese on top. This is NOT mozzarella which would be too bland. It's white cheddar I had to shred myself when I ran out of the ready-shred, lazy-cook cheese. Mexican Blend shredded cheese would work well or Queso Blanco. And it's ready to bake at 350 for 30-40min until bubbly and browned.

THE SHOPPING LIST:   *Is it in the pantry or do I need to pick it up?*
4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
3-4 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese                                        ENCHILADA SAUCE:
6 8" Tortillas                                                                 1 can(15oz) crushed tomatoes
8 oz Sour Cream                                                           1 Tbs diced green chilies
1 Large Sweet Onion                                                     1 tsp chili powder
1 stick Butter                                                                 1/2 tsp cumin
Ketchup                                                                        1/2 tsp oregano
Enchilada Sauce                                                             1/2 tsp salt
White Vinegar                                                                1/2 cup chicken stock
Worcestershire                                                               Simmer all 10-15 minutes.
Hot Sauce (Crystal is my favorite)
Dry Mustard
Brown Sugar
Chili Powder

1 comment:

  1. Jan. Thank you for this recipe. I can't wait to try it! The only thing I would do differently is use corn tortillas just because I love the flavor of them in enchiladas. I've been wanting a good recipe and of course you provided it!!!


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