Mmmmm cheesy chicken gooeyness
Chicken Enchiladas are my jam. Yes, I am 34, hip and so cool that I can use phrases like ‘my jam’.These enchiladas are SO good. Honestly, the best part about chicken enchiladas is how they taste on DAY #2! Wait for it…they get better. So if you aren’t a leftover person, you are missing out my friends. I have been making these for a very long time, but just changed up my approach to the chicken and it is so much better!
Now, I wouldn’t lie to ya’ – these should not be filed in the ‘healthy’ recipe section. I’ve just gotten back into my major gym routine and I barely eat all day due to my crazy work routine, so my dinners can be calorie bombs and I deserve it! 🙂 By making these choices you can decrease the fat/calorie content: use corn tortillas, not flour. use low fat cheese and reduce the overall quantity of cheese. You can remove the cheese within the tortillas and it won’t taste that much different. Use light sour cream (never use fat free, that tastes like children’s craft paste). User buttermilk instead of heavy whipping cream.
This recipe makes 10 large enchiladas. I usually make one pan to serve that night, then I freeze a batch for later. If you do freeze a batch, you shouldn’t cook them first, just wrap tightly, freeze, thaw and THEN bake. Keeps them from getting mushy.
I have two options for how to cook your chicken so be sure to read through the instructions first to see how you want to attack the chicken. So, now that I’ve built this up…vamos! Lets make enchiladas!
- 4 medium sized chicken breasts
- 1.5 cup chicken broth
- 10 tortillas – small
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 small cans green chiles – chopped
- 1 whole jalapeño – remove seeds and finely chop
- 4 gloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Your favorite salsa (optional garnish/side)
- chopped cilantro for garnish (about 3 tbsp)
Marinade for chicken breasts
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Grated zest from 2 limes
- Juice from 2 limes, about 1/3 cup
- 1 cup of your favorite salsa
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Mix marinade ingredients
- Poke fork holes in the chicken breasts
- Place chicken breasts and marinade in Ziploc bag or container with tight fitting lid.
- Turn/toss bag to coat chicken and let marinate for at least 3 hours, no more than 24 hours. If you don’t have time, just start marinading when you start cooking and that will just have to do.
- Heat grill to medium heat.
- Cook chicken until heated 165 degrees through. Takes about 7-10 minutes. Ensure its cooked through but not dry. Check often to ensure its not overcooked!
- Another option for cooking chicken if you don’t grill:
- Simmer the non-marinated (plain) breasts in hot water on the stove-top. Pull from hot water when cooked. (You can pull the breasts out and cut them to see if they are done cooking, if not just toss back in the water until cooked – aka: no pink).
- Pull from grill (or hot water) and immediately shred. Using two dinner forks, pull and shred apart the chicken discarding any cartilage or fatty parts. (If you did the boil method, add in all the marinade ingredients to the shredded chicken). Set the shredded chicken aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
- Toss the onions, garlic and jalapeño and 2 cans of chiles in the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until onions and jalapeños are soft. Don’t burn the garlic!
- Remove 1/2 of the vegetables and place in a small bowl. You will use these in step 16.
- Add in chicken into the pan with the remaining 1/2 of veggies, and toss until all is mixed well. About 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in another bowl.
- In same pan, melt the butter (medium heat). Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly add in heavy cream, then 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 tsp paprika.
- Add in the other 2 cans of green chiles and the rest of the paprika (1/2 tsp)
- Add in the cooked vegetables from step 12.
- Add in sour cream
- Add in 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese
- If the sauce is too thick, pour in the remaining chicken broth and continue to stir until the sauce is a thick consistency.
- Stir until thick, melted and slightly bubbly.
- Toss in about 2 pinches of salt and about 1-2 tsp of pepper. (this is how I like it so you can add s&p for yourself and adjust as needed)
- Turn off heat and stir occasionally to prevent ‘milk film’ on top and to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Stack the 10 tortillas, wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds until heated through. Leave in microwave.
Assembly & baking of the enchiladas:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Lightly oil the bottom of two baking pans, I used 9×13 glass
- Pull the tortillas from the microwave
- in the center of the tortilla place a small amount of cheese
- Top with the shredded chicken mixture
- Roll tightly and place seam side down in the baking dish
- Continue until all enchiladas are rolled
- Pour sauce over the enchiladas – be sure to slowly drizzle to cover all areas. You may have to lift one end of the pan and then the other to spread sauce around evenly if you missed a spot.
- Top each pan with the remaining cheese and place in oven
- Cook for 30 minutes
- Remove and let sit for 10 minutes
- Sprinkle chopped cilantro over enchiladas
- Serve with your favorite salsa on top!
Grilling the chicken!
Shredding the chicken
Cooking onion, jalapeño, and garlic
Adding chicken and green chiles to the pan
All chicken mix ingredients
Cooking the sauce – butter and flour mix
Adding chiles and paprika to the sauce
Cheese on tortilla
Adding chicken mix on top of cheese
Enchiladas rolled, cheese covered, and baking
Final product w/ cilantro on top!
Final produce with a fresh grilled veggie salad
Leftovers on Day #2. Reheated enchiladas with a fresh tomato on top!