Chicken Enchiladas

"Enchilada" means "to add chile pepper to," so Enchilada means "in chile." Enchiladas are a traditional dish of Mexico, and you can enjoy them in your own home by following this recipe.

1½ lb. whole chicken, cut up (or equivalent in thighs, breasts, etc.)
1 t. salt
2 onions, chopped
1-2 T. vegetable oil
56 oz. canned red enchilada sauce (2 lg. 28 oz. cans)
8 corn tortillas
2 oz. canned green chile peppers, diced (half a sm. can)
12-16 oz. jack cheese, sliced
1-2 C. sour cream

Cook the chicken: Simmer chicken pieces in 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt until tender, about 1 hour. Let it cool, then debone, remove the skin and tear the meat into chunks, set aside. Discard the skin, bones and water.

Assemble the enchiladas: Saute the onions in vegetable oil until limp but not browned. Heat enchilada sauce in a pan. Dip the tortillas in sauce to soften them. Place a slice of cheese in the center of a tortilla, add a handful of onions and a generous amount of chicken. Roll up and place in a casserole dish, overlapping side of tortilla roll facing down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Final preparation: Sprinkle diced chiles and remaining onion and chicken on top. Mix remaining sauce and sour cream, pour over top of casserole. Top casserole with remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

Optionally garnish with sour cream and cilantro sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

Note: The traditional form of preparation involves briefly sautéing the tortillas in oil before dipping them in enchilada sauce. Or even messier, I've heard of dipping them in the enchilada sauce first, and then sautéing them! I'm sure the splatter makes a horrible mess, but the end result probably tastes really good!

Filed under Poultry   Tagged Mexican, dinner