Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

There are some times when taking a little help from the store is just as tasty as cooking from scratch. Since Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines, I’ve done a lot of experimenting with enchilada recipes. I came across an excellent recipe for red sauce that, though time consuming and ingredient-heavy, has just the flavor I was looking for. One night I was a little short on time, so I “cheated” and grabbed a can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce from the shelf. The two sauces tasted almost identical. (Plus, Old El Paso cost about $1.50 a can and took about 4 seconds to open) The lesson? Flavor is flavor. 
Tip: Try using leftover chicken from Whole Chicken and Dumplings for instant shredded chicken!

2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken OR 
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with: garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper
2 - 1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
10-12 corn tortillas
2 cans Old El Paso enchilada sauce (I prefer medium)
Optional toppings: sour cream, guacamole

If using raw chicken:
Preheat broiler for about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, trim and season chicken breasts and arrange on greased broiler pan. Broil chicken for 8-10 minutes per side. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then shred chicken into a medium bowl, using two forks. (One fork stabilizes, the other shreds, with the grain)

Once chicken is shredded, add 1/3 c. shredded cheddar and about ½ a can of enchilada sauce. Stir until combined. Heat tortillas in the microwave for about 40 seconds to make them easier to roll. (Hint: Cover with a damp paper towel to keep them moist)

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place about a spoonful of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla and roll securely. Line rolled tortillas into the pan in a single layer. Pour the remaining can and a half of enchilada sauce over the stuffed tortillas. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 c. cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Best served with sour cream and/or guacamole. 


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