Say hello to my new favorite dinner. I am telling you these babies are just too good to be true! The hubs told me the day after I made them that he almost texted me several times during the day to tell me how off the hook they were. I must say there is some labor involved, but the outcome is totally worth it! I mean TOTALLY! I will most likely not be making these on a weeknight again. In the making of these bad boys I dirtied quite a few dishes and underestimated how long the actual process would take. So next time I will be saving it for a weekend meal. That is of course the craving for them is too overwhelming then I just might, and oh I can see that happening.
This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, which is also where the recipe for the lava cakes comes from. These enchiladas to me are just like the ones you would get dining out at your favorite Mexican place. The red sauce is easy to make and adds a ton of flavor to the dish. I was a little worried chopping up the jalepenos because I am a big wimp when it comes to spicy food, but somehow it mellowed out and had the perfect amount of spiciness to it. I skipped the cilantro because I absolutely despise it, instead I sprinkled the final product with some chopped green onions. Do as you please. Just do me a favor and make these ASAP!
If this is too labor intensive for you-try my Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup!
*picture updated 4/2012
Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
What you’ll need:
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 medim cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
salt and ground black pepper
What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 425. Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don’t like the crunch).
Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.