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Food & Drink Blog

Monday Meal: Chicken/Turkey & Cheese Enchiladas

by Ted Scheffler
- Posted // 2013-11-18 -

I love homemade enchiladas. They are pretty inexpensive to cook, especially if you use leftover cooked chicken or turkey to make them. At this time of year, it's a great way to make use of leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

The key to successful enchilada making is to set up a production line. That's because you need to cook the tortillas first briefly in hot oil, then dip them into enchilada sauce before stuffing them. You'll make a bit of a mess in the kitchen, but the wonderful flavors are well-worth the trouble.

Ingredients:

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

10-oz shredded cooked chicken or turkey

1 4-oz. can diced green chiles

salt and black pepper, to taste

corn tortillas (This recipe makes 8-10 enchiladas, but have some extra tortillas on hand since some inevitably break and fall apart.)

vegetable or canola oil

enchilada sauce (I usually use store-bought. Here I use verde sauce, but red enchilada sauce is also good. Or, you could use mole sauce for a richer, deeper flavor.)

6 to 8-oz. shredded cheese, such as cheddar or a Mexican cheese mix

1 cup queso fresco Mexican cheese, crumbled (optional)

2-3 chopped scallions

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Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. F. 

Saute the sliced onion in a teaspoon of oil over medium heat, just enough to soften them. Don't brown the onions.

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Add the chicken and chile peppers to the pan and heat through, stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

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Now, set up an enchilada-making production line in your kitchen. Place a skillet with 1/4 inch of oil on one burner over medium heat. Put some enchilada sauce in a second skillet and warm over medium-low.

On the kitchen counter, place a plate or platter for assembling the enchiladas, the chicken filling, shredded cheese, and optional queso fresco.

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It helps if you have an assistant: one person to prepare the tortillas and another to stuff them.

Working with one tortilla at a time, heat a tortilla in the hot oil for about 10-15 seconds per side. You don't want to fry the tortilla, just heat it through and make it supple for rolling.

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Using tongs or a spatula, remove the tortilla from the hot oil and dip it briefly into the enchilada sauce.

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Put the prepared tortilla on an empty plate.

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Place some shredded chicken and a tablespoon or so of shredded cheese on one side of the tortilla.

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Roll the tortilla up and place into an oiled, oven-proof baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and stuffing.

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At this point, you could cover and refrigerate the enchiladas to cook later. Before cooking, top the enchiladas with the remaining shredded cheese and the optional queso fresco.

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Cook in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. I like to lightly brown the enchiladas by turning on the broiler for that last couple of minutes of cooking.

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Remove the enchiladas from the oven, top with the chopped scallions and serve. 

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Photos by Ted Scheffler

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