1.24.2007

Chicken Enchiladas


I feel a sense of relief when I think of something to make for dinner. Not that it is that difficult to think of the next tantalizing entree. I am relieved when I pick a menu and have all the ingredients in my pantry so another trip to the grocery store is unnecessary. This is even the sentiment of someone who lives to cook and actually likes spending time perusing the aisles of the local grocery store, corner butcher shop, and out of the way gourmet market.

Tonight's dinner revelation was for Chicken Enchiladas. I have spent the last week devising a specials menu for the cafe I work at and this recipe has made the cut. You can make this as mild as or spicy as you like by varying the amounts of spices added.

Chicken Enchiladas

The key to the authentic Mexican taste to these enchiladas is the chipolte powder and peanut butter in the quick to make sauce that tastes better than any variation in a can.

Serves 6

4 bone-in chicken breast halves
salt
pepper
chipolte powder
olive oil
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipolte powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter

12 (6 inch) tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream for serving
salsa for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place chicken in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chipolte powder and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and then shred into small pieces.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

For the enchilada sauce, put crushed tomatoes, cumin, cayenne pepper, chipolte powder, and peanut butter in a medium sized saucepan. Stir to combine; the peanut butter will melt as the sauce simmers.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, mix about 1 cup of the sauce with the shredded chicken. Dip the tortillas one at a time into the remaining sauce. Divide the chicken evenly among the tortillas and top with shredded cheese. Roll up tortillas and place in a baking pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the prepared enchiladas and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake for 15 -20 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve with sour cream and salsa.




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