As promised, below is my favorite recipe for leftover chicken. Truth be told, however, RJ and I often go to the grocery store and buy a rotisserie chicken for the sole purpose of making these enchiladas. They are fast to come together, delicious, and they work well for lunch the next day too. Making your own enchilada sauce is optional, but the El Paso stuff in the can is nowhere near as flavorful or satisfying as the homemade. It doesn’t add too much time to your prep either. I, too, will be brief today, and just let the recipe speak for itself.
Quick Enchiladas, copied from The Best 30-Minute Recipe
2 c. finely shredded chicken, beef or pork
3/4 c. refried beans
1 1/2 c. enchilada sauce (either from the can or see the recipe below)
2 oz. canned chopped green chiles (optional)
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
pack of 8 inch corn or flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray 13×9 in baking dish with vegetable oil spray and set aside.
Combine the meat, refried beans, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, and – if using – 2 oz. chopped green chiles in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until hot, 1-3 minutes. Stir cilantro and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese into chicken mixture and set aside.
Microwave your tortillas until warm and pliable, about 40-60 seconds. Arrange warm tortillas on clean work surface. Divide meat mixture evenly among tortillas, about 1/4 cup filling per enchilada, and spread evenly down center of each. Tightly roll tortilla around filling. Place seam-side down in baking dish.
Lightly spray enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour 1 c. enchilada sauce over enchiladas to coat. Sprinkle 1 1/2 shredded cheese over enchiladas. Cover baking dish with foil and bake until enchiladas are heated through, 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is completely melted, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with sour cream and (optional) warmed enchilada sauce.
Fast Enchilada Sauce
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. sugar
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add minced onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until onions soften, about 5 min. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and water. Bring to simmer and cook until slightly thickened (see picture) about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you like a smoother sauce, strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
If you can ever get hold of a jar of chili paste (try the basic from Santa Cruz Chile and Spice Co. http://www.santacruzchili.com/productss.html), make the sauce with that. Brown 1 Tbsp flour in 1Tbsp oil. Add the jar of chili past, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano and 3 – 4 cups hot water or broth, and simmer for at least 15 minutes. This chili paste is not hot, but in my opinion more authentic, and gets away from the over-tomato-saucing of our American cuisine.
Try it with crabmeat, bean, chicken, ground beef, or veggie enchiladas.
Ooooh… sounds delicious. Thanks for the tip!