After a few disappointing meals, The Home Cook's got her groove back:
... with cheesy, spicy chicken enchiladas. I used the recipe from one of my America's Test Kitchen cookbooks and the outcome was excellent.
Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen
Sauce and Filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips (I used chicken breasts because I bought the huge pack from the wholesale club)
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
Tortillas and Toppings:
10 corn tortillas (six-inch)
Vegetable cooking spray
3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sour cream
For the Sauce and Filling: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds.
Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees. Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 3/4 cup chili sauce. Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes. Place warm tortillas on counter-top. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side by side, seam-side down. Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese down center of enchiladas.
Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream.