Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas -- Easy and Yummy

I planned to make a cassoulet of chicken and dark beer yesterday, but I have so many leftovers in my fridge, I decided to push things back a day. Then I noticed the half a rotisserie chicken in the mix, and one word sprang into my mind: enchiladas.

That was it. Normally I would not make something like that for dinner, because tortillas are a must for enchiladas, and my husband tries to limit carbohydrates, especially corn and flour. But I decided he could choose to eat one of the two other choices if he didn't want echiladas, since once I thought the word, I knew I had to make 'em. It'd been so long that Bunny didn't remember me ever making them. Seriously, it'd been 5 years or more.

So anyway, homemade enchilada sauce is really easy, and I think tastes better than the canned stuff.

Take 1 14.5 ounce can of tomato sauce, put it in a small saucepan with 1/2 c beef broth (or you can use boullion and water). Add one minced onion and a pressed garlic clove. Then add 1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder (depending how spicy you and your family like things), 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring it to a bubble and let simmer until thickened a bit.

While the sauce is bubbling, shred a couple of cups of cooked chicken and grate a bunch of cheese. Heat the oven to 375F and heat a pan on the stove over med-hi. Add 1/2 grated onion and another clove garlic, and saute for a minute or less, then dump in the chicken and about 1/4 of the sauce... you want the mixture to be moist, but not drippy.

Spoon enough sauce into an oven proof dish that's oblong. In a pinch you can use a 13x9 pan, but I think these cook better if they're snugly fit in a casserole...the tortillas get dry easily. Then assemble your enchiladas. I put a flour tortilla on a plate and make what are probably more accurately mini burritos, since I fold them tightly at the ends. If you prefer corn, then go for it, but you probably need to warm them since those suckers are more brittle. With flour tortillas this recipe makes about 6. I put a tortilla on a plate, put about 1/2 c of the chicken mixture in the middle, top with a couple of Tbsp cheese, and fold. Then I put it, seam down, in the pan. Repeat, repeat... until everything is used up. They have to be kind of squished in. Top with remaining sauce, being careful to cover all the surfaces with some saucy goodness. Then sprinkle cheese all over and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes.

My daughter said if she had 20 thumbs, she'd give this recipe 20 thumbs up. My husband? He ate with gusto, but he also had left over black bean soup, because something in legumes actually inoculates a meal against the other carbohydrates as far as making your blood not go haywire with insulin production. (Within reason! You can't, say, eat a garbanzo bean, then gobble half a cake, sorry.)

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