Friday, November 13, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas and Taco Seasoning

Let's say that you have 8,000 flour tortillas leftover from a recent party and some chicken in the freezer. Solution = Enchiladas. When I was growing up, tacos and nachos were on the permanent dinner menu rotation, but we seemed to ignore other, arguably more delightful, mexican dishes. The first time that I had homemade enchiladas was at a good friends house. She's a very good cook, an even better baker, and just so happens to have some Mexican blood. Quite a while ago I had the privledge of helping her whip up a batch. She makes hers with homemade tortillas, which are beyond excellent all by themselves, mole sauce, muenster cheese, and cream cheese in the filling. Very rich, but very worth it. Mine are not as heavy and I use canned enchilada sauce. I have tried a few different kinds and they are all pretty good, even the national brands. Check the nutritional information though, some are just packed with sodium. You can even find a couple that have a decent amount of fiber. We like it with medium heat so I mix some of a hot variety into a can of the mild. But, if anyone has a good recipe for a tasty homemade sauce, I am all ears. Until then, I make up for it with my own taco seasoning. It's more flavorful, salt free, and without the nasty MSG. I use it in my chili, tacos, and refried beans. If you search the web you can find several recipes for taco seasoning, but this one comes with my seal of approval: Amy tested, Dan approved. And, it's cheaper than buying the little packets for $1 a piece. 

Chicken Enchiladas

olive oil
2 bonless, skinless chicken breasts
Taco seasoning - *recipe below
1 large (19 oz.) or 2 small (10 oz.) cans of your favorite enchilada sauce
2 oz. freshly grated, reduced fat cheddar cheese
8 oz. freshly grated, monterey jack cheese
3/4 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. diced green chilis - about 1/2 of a 4 oz. can
black pepper
8-10 small flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350 . Heat olive oil, once around the pan, in a small skillet on medium heat. Liberally season chicken with taco seasoning, add to pan, and saute until golden brown and cooked through.
2. Remove chicken from pan and alow to rest for 10 minutes. Shread chicken by pulling apart with 2 forks.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the shreadded chicken, cheddar cheese, black beans, green chilis. Add pepper, another sprinkle of taco seasoning, and about 1/3 c. each of the monterey jack and enchilada sauce.  Mix well.
4. Spray a 13 x 9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, roll, and place in dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the tortillas, and top with remaining jack cheese.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the sauce bubbles around the edges and the cheese begins to brown.

Taco Seasoning

6 tsp. chili powder
5 tsp. paprika
4 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine in a well sealing container and shake to mix. 7-8 teaspoons of this mix is about the same as one of the packets.

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