Chicken Chipotle Enchiladas.
Muy bueno! Una Margarita por favor.
Thus ends the extent of my Spanish.
So I can’t speak Spanish, but I can make enchiladas.
These little babies have smokey, delicious chipotle flavor. By removing the seeds, you can totally control the amount of spice and heat you put into your enchiladas.
Here’s what you need:
Chicken Breasts, Corn Tortillas, Onion, Garlic, Corn, Diced Tomatoes, Chopped Green Chilies, Enchilada Sauce, Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, Cheese, Flour, Cumin, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.
For this recipe, like so many others, I’ve pre-baked my chicken breasts. I’ve mentioned this before, but it takes the same amount of time to cook 2 chicken breasts as it does 4. I buy a big package, cook them up, make enchiladas with two and then Chicken Salad, Chicken Tetrazzini, or even just a chicken sandwich with the rest. I might even give some to the old cat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle bone in, skin on chicken breasts with a little olive oil. Season them generously with salt and pepper and bake for 35- 40 minutes.
The chicken is done when it is firm, golden brown and the juices run clear. Let the chicken cool to make it easier to shred and also so you don’t burn your fingers off. I often bake the chicken a day ahead and just put it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to start making enchiladas.
On enchilada day, chop up one medium onion.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a very large skillet or pan. Cook the onion for 5 minutes over medium-medium high heat until it is tender but not browned.
Smash, peel and chop 2-3 cloves of garlic. Add the garlic on top of the cooking onions.
Cook the garlic with the onions for a few more minutes. Add 2 cans of chopped green chilies. Yes, 2 cans. They’re not hot…go ahead and dump them both in.
Drain the liquid from a large (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes and add the tomatoes to the pan.
Add 1 cup of corn. I’m using fresh corn that I cut off the cob because I needed to get it out of my refrigerator however most of the time I just use frozen corn.
Stir everything together and let it cook over medium heat while you prepare the chicken.
Remove the chicken skin and pull the chicken meat away from the bones. This is MUCH easier to do if the chicken is cool or even cold. Use your fingers to tear the chicken into small pieces.
When I’m making a casserole or chicken salad, I usually cut the chicken into chunks. However for enchiladas, I find that shredding the chicken helps it to absorb the sauce and also makes it easier to roll into tortillas.
Add the chicken to the veggies and stir it to combine. Season with 1 teaspoon each cumin, salt, and pepper.
Let’s talk about Chipotles!
Chipotles are smoked jalapeno peppers. They come in little cans of rich, spicy sauce called Adobo. They’re delicious but I won’t lie…they’re also pretty darned hot.
You can reduce a lot of the heat (this works for all hot peppers) by removing the seeds and the inner membranes.
Cut open the peppers and scrape the seeds away with a knife or spoon.
*If you have a perfectly pristine white cutting board that you love and adore (I obviously do not), don’t cut chipotles on it as they will leave a pretty good stain.
I used to be pretty wimpy about spicy foods. I’ve gotten considerably less wimpy over the years especially when the spiciness comes with great flavor as it does with chipotles. There really is no substitute for the smokey flavor of these peppers so even if you just use 1 or 2 they will give your enchiladas great flavor without overwhelming heat.
I used 4 peppers, chopped, with the seeds removed and my enchiladas were moderately spicy. Not burn your face off spicy or make you run for the jug of milk spicy, but enough to get your attention. If you’re cooking for kids or others who are not adventurous with spicy foods, start with 1 or 2 chipotles, give it a taste and add one more if you like the flavor and heat.
In addition to the peppers, use a spoon to remove 1-2 spoonfuls of the adobo sauce from the can and add it to the chicken mixture.
Cook the chicken with the vegetables over medium heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the chicken to warm up and absorb the flavors.
Take a look at your pan and if you see extra moisture pooling in the chicken and veggies, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of flour over the top and stir it in to pull the sauce together.
To prepare the enchiladas, spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and coat the bottom with enchilada sauce.
Pour the remainder of the can of enchilada sauce into a shallow bowl wide enough to hold the tortillas.
Get 2-3 paper towels wet and wring them out. Place 5 or 6 tortillas in the damp paper towels and wrap them into a little bundle. Microwave the wrapped tortillas for 30 seconds to make them hot and bendable.
Working in a little assembly line, dip both sides of the warm tortillas in the plate of enchilada sauce.
Fill the tortilla with a spoonful of the chicken mixture – about 1/4 of a cup – and fold over the sides.
Lay the enchilada seam side down in the pan and continue filling and folding.
A helpful hint….If your tortillas start to split when you fold them, re-wet your paper towels and re-microwave the tortillas.
At some point, you will run out of enchilada sauce and need to open a second can. You will also notice that this recipe makes a TON of filling — enough for 2 large pans of enchiladas. For 2 pans, you will need 3 cans of enchilada sauce but will have about 24 enchiladas. OR you can save half of the filling, put it in a container, and freeze it for another day.
Speaking of freezing, I put the leftover chipotles in a zipper bag and freeze them too.
I’m saving these to make chipotle mayo for sweet potato fries.
Back to the enchiladas, when your pan is full, pour some of the remaining enchilada sauce to coat the top.
Grate some cheese over the top too. I had both cheddar and pepper jack cheese but decided that my enchiladas were spicy enough and just went with the cheddar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until melty, bubbly and seriously delicious.
Add a little guacamole or a salad and you’ve got a party.
Don’t forget the margaritas!
Here’s the recipe: adapted from that cute Tyler Florence.