Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Easy Enchiladas with 20 Minute Enchilada Sauce

We returned from Orlando last week and eased back into the work week.   I needed to do some food shopping before heading back to work.  I picked up a few items to get us started, but soon realized that a run to Costco was in order.  I made a short list of Costco worthy items and convinced Paul to do the Costco run.  I don't know why I did that.  I should know that he will come with everything on the list as well as everything else that tickles his fancy and his fancy is easily tickled.   One of the things that Paul can't seem to pass up is the rotisserie chicken.

Now, if you've been reading my blog you know that I think Costco rotisserie chickens are a shortcut made in heaven.  My Green and White Chicken Chili and Polenta Crusted Chicken Pot Pies are two favorite recipes that use rotisserie chicken.  It's just that we've been eating so much Turkey since Thanksgiving.   Lauren and Matt made a fantastic Thanksgiving turkey, but I had to make another turkey breast for Paul when we got home so he could have the turkey sandwiches and leftovers he so loves.  I was a little roast poultried-out ( yes, I know it's not a word).  The last thing I wanted to see was a Costco rotisserie chicken.  I think I snarled when I saw it sitting on the kitchen counter and said something like, "I hope you can eat a whole chicken"  Well, he couldn't.  So for his penance, he stripped it off the bones, cut it all into bite sized pieces, in hopes that I would transform it into something that doesn't scream chicken.
Chicken enchiladas came to mind.  Enchiladas were always a quick, go-to dinner I made when my kids were home - and a rotisserie chicken made it easy.  It's a great dinner to throw together after working all day or after an exhausting day of Christmas shopping.  I used to buy canned enchilada sauce, but it always had a metallic taste.  I've made enchilada sauce from dried chilies, but doing that takes it out of the quick dinner category.  I recently found a recipe for an easy enchilada sauce that only takes about 20 minutes to make.  It beats the pants off of canned sauce and it is made with ingredients you probably already have on hand.  

Easy Enchilada Sauce
Click Here for Printable Recipe
Adapted from:  Emeril Lagasse, The Essence of Emeril, Quick Mexican Sauces Episode
Makes about 2 cups of enchilada sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  2. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chili powder and spices, cook another minute.
  4. Add the tomato paste and slowly whisk in the chicken stock.  
  5. Bring to a boil, then whisk as it slightly thickens. 
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Makes 6 big to 8 regular enchiladas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • 3 cups of cooked chicken - cut into bite size pieces or shredded
  • 4 ounces grated cheese- I use a monterey jack and cheddar combo
  • 1 small can fire roasted chilies
  • 4 green onions sliced thin, crosswise
  • 6 -8 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/4 cup Easy Enchilada Sauce (freeze the rest or save for another use)
  1. Butter a baking dish and spread a scant 1/4 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine chicken,  3 ounces of grated cheese (save 1 ounce for the top), 1 can of chopped fire roasted chilies and 3 of the sliced green onions (save 1 for garnish) with 2 spoonfuls (like tablespoons- not an exact amount)  of the enchilada sauce.
  3. Heat about a cup of enchilada sauce in an 8 inch frying pan.
  4. If the tortillas feel dry, wrap them in a towel and heat 15 seconds in the microwave (then dip in sauce)  If they are pliable,  using tongs, take tortilla and dip it into the warm sauce.
  5. Place the tortilla in the baking dish, fill with a few spoonfuls chicken mixture and fold, placing seam side down.  Repeat process until all filling is used.
  6. Pour the rest of the sauce that is left in the frying pan over the enchiladas.  
  7. Sprinkle remaining ounce of cheese and sliced green onions over the top of the enchiladas.
    8.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately with a crisp green salad

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