Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

Raise your hand if you love Mexican food. I am raising both hands. One of the best things about California is the Mexican food. Man, it is amazing. The Italian food leaves a lot to be desired, but the Mexican food is out of this world (though in reality not even out of this continent). I don't really know how to cook authentic Mexican food, but I do know how to cook Americanized Mexican food, which is good enough for me. I actually don't really prefer enchiladas in Mexican restaurants. They are too soupy for me and the meat is usually kinda gross. These enchiladas are a delicious treat - lots of good meat with flavorful sauce and a nice amount of cheese. You will not be disappointed, mi amigos. I took Spanish in high school and college and that's about all the Spanish I remember. I was even vice president of the Spanish Honor Society. Kinda sad. I think I need to plan a trip to Cancun to freshen up on my Spanish.

These enchiladas are really simple - all you need is a jar of enchilada sauce, 4-5 flour tortillas (medium sized), 1-2 cups Mexican blend cheese, 6 chicken drumsticks (or 2 chicken breasts), 1 cup cherry tomatoes (or 2 medium tomatoes), sliced jalapeno if you are into spice, and 4 cloves garlic.

You can either do as Eve and I used to do - cut up 2 chicken breasts into small pieces and cook them in a skillet with olive oil - or decide to try something new and poach your chicken and shred it. Today I decided to poach the chicken. I used 6 drumsticks because they are bargain-basement priced in comparison to chicken breasts, but chicken breasts on the bone will work great too. Wash your chicken in cold water and place in a large pot.

Cover your chicken with water and maybe add a bit extra because you will be like me and have one pesky big drumstick that keeps wanting to pop out of the water.

Add 4 cloves of garlic, smashed a bit. Gotta flavor the chicken a little bit, people.

UGH NOT ANOTHER SIDEWAYS PICTURE. I don't know what to do about these pictures, guys. Ignore the picture and just add a little less than a tablespoon of salt to the water.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until the chicken is fully cooked.

Set the chicken aside in a bowl to cool until it can be easily handled.

Shred the chicken with your bare hands and maybe a fork, if you are so inclined. I was not so inclined.

Toss in a good helping of enchilada sauce to flavor the chicken. 4 garlic cloves isn't enough to really get this chicken cookin'.

Mix it all together until you are starting to really crave enchiladas.

Now lay out your 4-5 tortillas in a 9x13 baking dish. Divide the chicken evenly among your tortillas. If you do it unevenly someone will be a very unhappy camper.

Now toss on a bit extra enchilada sauce to make sure it's good and flavored.

Since I am making these for John (because I will be out of town), I decided to go a little crazy and throw in some jalapeno slices. He likes spicy food, so hopefully he will appreciate it. I would never do this if I were going to eat these things, because I am a definite spice wimp.

Now top with sliced tomatoes. Usually I use medium tomatoes and cut them into slices, but the cherry tomatoes looked great at the store, so I decided to use them this time. Just use whatever tomatoes you have around. A big handful goes into each enchilada.

Now top each with a big sprinkling of cheese. John isn't a big cheese eater (what is wrong with this man?), so I was a little skimpy on the cheese for him.

Now it's time for another dousing of enchilada sauce. I hope you aren't out of enchilada sauce yet because we have to add more soon.

Now flip each enchilada so the seam is facing down. Be careful, this can be difficult.

Now add lots of sauce to the top of the enchiladas. Don't skimp here because a dry tortilla on top is not very tasty.

Usually I top the enchiladas with more tomatoes, but I decided to get cutsey and use jalapenos this time. Also a bit of a warning to John about what is in these suckers.

Now put a generous helping of cheese on top. Place these babies in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted.

How delicious do these look? John better appreciate me making him enchiladas and not even eating any myself. Do I baby him too much, or what?

Make these enchiladas sometime soon for someone you baby too much, or perhaps for yourself. Eve and I used to make two pans at a time so we could eat leftovers all week. They taste great with a nice dollop of sour cream and some refried beans on the side. I have had good luck with the Old El Paso enchilada sauce in the past, so if you can find that brand, have at it.

Chicken Enchiladas
5-6 chicken drumsticks or 2 chicken breasts
1 jar/can enchilada sauce
1 cup cherry tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes
4-5 flour tortillas
1-2 cups Mexican cheese blend
1 jalapeno, optional

Cook chicken as desired - either cut up two breasts into small pieces and cook with garlic and olive oil in skillet or prepare shredded chicken as follows. Rinse 5-6 chicken drumsticks, or 2 chicken breasts on the bone with skin in cold water. Add chicken to a large pot, cover it with water, and add 4 garlic cloves and slightly less than 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring pot to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let pot simmer, uncovered, until chicken is cooked (20-25 minutes). Remove chicken from the pot and let cool slightly. When able to be handled, shred the chicken form the bone with your hands.

Mix cooked chicken with a couple tablespoons enchilada sauce, until coated. Place 4-5 flour tortillas in 9x13 baking pan. Divide chicken evenly among flour tortillas. Add a little more enchilada sauce to each enchilada. On top of chicken, add cut up tomatoes, cut up jalapeno (optional), and shredded cheese. Flip over enchiladas so seam is facing down. Cover thoroughly with enchilada sauce. Top with tomatoes or jalapeno slice and cover with shredded cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted.

1 comment:

  1. i'm confused by the chicken drumsticks! i'm not sure thats something i would be into, how does it taste w/ that instead of breast meat? also, cherry tomatoes are a much stronger flavor. i wonder how that would be in an enchilada, i never thought to try! let me know


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