Chicken EnchiladasFebruary 1st, 2012
It's the start of chicken month! Basically this means that each recipe this month will use chicken in some significant way! There are a few reasons behind this. First is that finding store-bought versions of most of these recipes is pretty easy, so a simpler alternative to the from-scratch method is always readily available The second reason is that buying really any amount of raw chicken breast will usually give you enough raw material to complete all of these recipes without a second trip to the grocery store! So this way you have multiple ways to save money and you can keep learning a bunch of delicious recipes at the same time! So let's get started!
First things first, the ingredients! Enchiladas, like pizza, can incorporate a bunch of different ingredients depending on your taste preferences, with all sorts of different spices, peppers, sour cream, etc., but I tried to keep this version of the recipe relatively simple. You'll need: -Tortillas (using the pre-cooked variety makes things easier) -Cheese (pepper jack is especially good, the extra spiciness works well here) -Enchilada Sauce (The Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce is incredible, but mixing salsa/tomato sauce, chili powder, and whatever other spices you'd like can make a fine substitute.) -Raw Chicken Breast (Even about 1/2 of a breast is enough for a few enchiladas) - Onions (About 1 full, chopped onion should service two enchiladas)
As you can see, the amounts of each ingredient is also pretty variable, since they effectively act as toppings on a pizza, and the ones you use and the amounts of what you use are largely up to your own taste preference. The pictures in this recipe end up going towards just two enchiladas, which is a nice single serving, so let's use that as a starting point, and you can adjust the amounts accordingly.
Start things off by bringing a pot full of water to a boil, and chopping up the raw chicken breast. Don't worry making the chicken pieces terribly small just yet, you'll be chopping them up more once they're fully cooked. Once the water's boiling, adjust the heat to low, plop the chicken pieces in, and cover the pot, and leave it simmering for about 8-15 minutes. The amount of time it needs to cook depends on how thawed out the chicken was to begin with, so check it periodically. As the chicken goes from pink to more tan in color, take out a piece and chop it in half, and one there's no pink left, the chicken's done!
While the chicken is simmering, chop up the onions, put a saucepan over medium heat, grease the pan with either butter or canola oil, and put the onions in. Periodically stir the onion around in the pan so that no one side gets too brown, and after about 5-8 minutes, around when the chicken is done boiling, they should be good to go too!
Now for the assembly stage! If you're using uncooked tortillas, usually just a minute or two on a griddle or saucepan over medium heat, flipping the tortilla periodically will get it to the golden-brown color that the pre-cooked ones have. Once you have your tortillas ready, pour the sauce on the tortilla, enough form a relatively thick line from one side of the tortilla to the other, just above the center so that you can roll the tortilla up after everything's inside. Then chop up the chicken into even smaller pieces, then add that, the onions and the cheese (ideally, grate the cheese, but in lieu of a grater, thin slices work just fine.)
After all the ingredients are added, roll the tortilla up and leave it crease-side-down on the plate, then add an additional, light layer of sauce, cheese and onions to the top of the enchiladas. Now, if you've made more than just two, it's often best to place all the enchiladas in a large baking pan and bake them at 360 degrees for about 20 minutes, but when you only have two or so, like I did, microwaving them works just fine. In the microwave, it should only take about 1 1/2-2 minutes, but a good rule of thumb is just to watch for the cheese to melt, and once it does, you're good to go!
Do let them cool for a minute or two, though (or about 10 if you've baked them), they get pretty darn hot.
HOWEVER, IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AN EVEN QUICKER METHOD:
There are actually a few ways to speed this process up. The first way, if you still want to specifically select most of your ingredients, is to buy pre-cooked chicken! Trader Joe's, for instance, has Just Chicken, so you can skip the boiling process and just roll up the ingredients and stick them in the microwave! In this same vein, the chopped onions can just be added raw, but personally I prefer the sautéed taste.
The other way is to just buy pre-made frozen enchiladas, which can either be microwaved or baked.
Thanks for reading, and happy cooking! Keep sending me feedback and new recipe ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep spreading the word about the site! Tune in next week for another chicken-based recipe! See you then!