Chicken Enchiladas

When you're in the mood for something meaty and covered in cheese, it's hard to pinpoint your craving. 

Do  you want nachos? No.

Do you want chili cheese fries? No.

I'll save you the time. You want chicken enchiladas.

Now, why do you want chicken enchiladas? Well,  for one,  you probably never have it or haven't had it in a long time. Also, you need new chicken recipes because, let's be honest, you buy a ton of chicken on sale or in-bulk and all you ever do is fry, bake or grill it. This recipe is extremely simple, but also flavorful,  and a break from your norm.

Seasoning the Chicken

season2.jpg

Packing flavor into a simple dish can be tricky because you have to buy all the ingredients to flavor the food you're cooking. For this recipe, I rubbed the chicken with garlic, cayenne pepper, chipotle chili powder, cumin, salt, and two of my go to Goya seasonings--Adobo and Sazon. Then, I poured some chicken broth in the container and let it marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours. 

Cooking the Chicken 

Set the oven to 375 degrees and pour more broth into the pan you're using. Let me clue you in on a mistake I made at this part. I poured the broth in the pan until the thighs were submerged and realized it was excessive. The point is to roast the chicken and not stew it. Lesson learned. It doesn't matter if you're a master chef or not, you can always learn a thing or two in the kitchen.

As you prepare the chicken, be careful not to overcook it. This is a dish that will ultimately be baked.  I recommend first covering the chicken in foil and checking it after an hour. Then, cook for any additional time uncovered which would probably be around 45 minutes

Once complete, take the chicken out, let it cool and drain off any excess juices/broth. Now, remove the skin (unless you had skinless chicken)  and shred or chop it up depending on your preference. Finally, it's time to pair the chicken with the tortillas, but you of course need enchilada sauce. I don't have a recipe for the sauce yet--I'm working on mastering one myself--but store bought enchilada sauce is great! 

Building the Enchilada

When building your enchilada, you must heat your corn tortillas. This is important because they need to be pliable. This can be achieved if you lightly sauté or steam them. Now, take one of the pliable tortillas and dip it in enchilada sauce. The dip can be in another container or you can do like I did and just spread the sauce on the tortilla. Next, add the chicken and a blend of whichever cheese you want. I just used the Kraft Mexican Cheese blend---how American of me!

 Here's the time to get creative--if you can afford it. Add a roasted corn salsa, sautéed veggies, beans or whatever else you want to compliment your chicken. This time around, I kept it plain, cheap and simple. 

In a casserole dish, pour in enough enchilada sauce to cover the bottom and place the stuffed tortillas over that. Cover them with the rest of the enchilada sauce and more cheese. Finally, bake your masterpiece in the oven at 400-425 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

What are you left with? Roasted chicken and gooey melty cheese: craving fulfilled.

***Enchiladas do not NEED to be baked. At restaurants they cook these to order then melt the cheese atop. I feel like it's just an easier way to bake more than one portion at once, so if you choose not to bake them, fry the tortillas lightly with the enchilada sauce before stuffing it.