Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas

The other day, I needed something for a potluck...going through my freezer, I found some cooked chicken and I knew I had tortillas and cheese, I just didn't have any enchilada sauce so I looked one up.  It turned out delicious!  Someone requested the recipe so I thought I'd share what I did (it's a little long, but worth the effort).

 Chicken Enchilada’s

1 onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 ounces unpeeled scrubbed ginger, cut into 1/2"-thick slices
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 whole black peppercorns
1 3-pound whole organic chicken, cut into 7 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs with thighs attached, 2 wings, 1 back)
Kosher salt

Fresh jalapenos, chopped (seeded, optional – leave in if you like it spicy)
Fresh or jarred cactus, chopped (if jarred, rinse before chopping)
Hot and spicy spice mix (I use my own blend)

¼ c oil
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chili powder
8 oz tomato sauce
1 c water, more if needed
¼ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
Salt, to taste

Flour tortillas (1 pkg, gordita size)
Cheddar Cheese, shredded (@ 1lb)*

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large heavy pot. Add chicken, placing breasts on top. Add 6 quarts water (preferably filtered or spring water); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with lid slightly ajar. Reduce heat to low; simmer until chicken breasts are just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate; let cool, then cover and chill. Continue to simmer soup, uncovered, until broth is fully flavored, about 2 ½ hours longer. Return breasts to soup to re-warm, about 5 minutes.

Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, coarsely shred meat; discard skin and bones. Place a fine-mesh sieve over another large pot; strain broth, discarding solids in strainer (you should have about 8 cups broth). Season with salt.

Set aside the broth for another use.

Place chicken in skillet; add chopped jalapeno (I used approximately ¼ to ½ cup) and chopped cactus (approximately ¼ cup, fresh…jarred can also be used, rinse & chop and add to chicken). 

Add 2-3 tsp to 2-3 tbsp of a hot and smoky spice mix and a small amount of water (1/4 cup); stirring occasionally, cook over medium-low heat until water is evaporated.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; stir flour and chili powder into oil.  Cook and stir until smooth.  Gradually add in remaining ingredients, reduce heat to low and cook until thick, about 10 minutes.

Lightly spray a baking dish (I used 10” x 15”) with cooking spray.

Heat a tortilla in microwave for about 10 seconds – remove and add a scoop of chicken, roll up and place in sprayed dish; repeat with remaining chicken and tortillas.  When dish is full and/or you are out of chicken/tortillas, spoon enchilada sauce over, covering well.  Top with cheese (the more the better, I say!!) and bake in 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

before mine went in the oven.

*Use non-Dairy Cheese for a non-dairy version.