Nathan and I love to cook but after getting home from work on an average weeknight the last thing we feel like doing is getting in the kitchen and preparing a meal. So a few weeks ago we decided that we would start preparing meals on Sunday afternoons that we could freeze and eat a couple times during the week. Nathan turns on the oven when he gets home and we’re able to relax together while dinner is baking instead of scrambling to make something from scratch. Our first make ahead meal was a classic lasagna and this past week we made chicken enchiladas.
These chicken enchiladas are not your simple enchiladas that are stuffed with only chicken…too boring. These are stuffed with peppers, corn, tomatoes and onion…all seasoned with a zesty blend of Mexican spices. We wanted to compare corn tortillas with flour tortillas so we did a mix of both in order to definitively report which tortilla variety works best.
Unfortunately, after the enchiladas were frozen and then baked both tortilla varieties were soggy! Maybe enchiladas aren’t the best make ahead and freeze meal? They were still tasty but we suggest baking and enjoying these enchiladas right away so you don’t have what Nathan coined ‘Mexican Goulash.’ If you know of other reasons that we had soggy enchiladas please let us know in the comments!
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ tsp. paprika
1 red onion, chopped
½ cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
16 corn or flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned or from the recipe below
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses, or more if you like your enchiladas cheesy!
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves and sour cream
Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.
Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.
Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.
If using corn tortillas microwave the tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Flour tortillas do not need to be microwaved. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro and sour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
10 ounces tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Paprika, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato puree, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and paprika. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Add the lime juice. Adjust the seasonings. Serve atop your favorite enchiladas.