Friday, March 13, 2015

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

As you may have noticed, I've been on a chicken thigh kick recently. The meat is just so tender and flavorful. Take these Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas from my friend, Melissa. In the past I would have subbed breasts for the thighs. I'm sure the results would have been good, but not great. Instead I used thighs and everyone, even the 5-year-old, was raving about how good they were.


My stepdad kept oohing and ahhing over them. And, like many things, they got better the longer they sat. SP took the final two enchiladas for lunch two days later and said they were even better than the first day we ate them.

As luck would have it, my aunt lives in New Mexico, home of the Hatch chile. She knows how much I love to cook, and that I can't get Hatch chiles here in Pennsylvania, so she figured out a way to process them, freeze them and bring them with her when she visited for the holidays. I've had the chiles in my freezer, waiting for the perfect recipe. If you don't have Hatch chiles you can definitely use regular green chiles - you can't really taste the true Hatch chile flavor in the enchiladas anyway. I'm saving the rest of the chiles to use as a burger topping. I can't wait!

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas
As seen on Alosha's Kitchen

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Seasoning: ground cumin, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 7-ounce can diced green chiles (or 7 to 8 ounces Hatch chiles if you have them!)

Enchilada sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 small canned chipotle chile in adobo, minced
3/4 cup water

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded and divided in half
18 flour tortillas, large taco size
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Place the chicken on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Season the chicken generously with cumin, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium low in a small skillet. Add the onions and garlic and saute until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to a medium mixing bowl along with the diced green chiles.

To make the enchilada sauce: in a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add flour and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chili powder, chipotle, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Once the chicken has finished baking, remove to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then slice/chop the chicken into small bits and add to the mixing bowl. Make sure the mixture is cool enough to not melt the cheese, then add half the cheddar. Toss well to combine.

You'll need two baking dishes (one 9x13" and one smaller, I used an 8x8 square). Spray both dishes with cooking spray. Fill each tortilla with some of the filling, then roll it up and place seam side down in the baking dishes. Repeat with the other tortillas. Pour the sauce evenly over the enchiladas.

Cover the dishes with foil (do not forget this or the sauce will dry out!) and bake in the 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove the pan and discard the foil. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top of the enchiladas and return to the oven uncovered for another 10 minutes.

Sprinkle cilantro on top, if desired, and serve immediately.
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