(Cash and Miss Lucy, the cougar)
Tonight my friend La and her sweet pitbull (Cash's girlfriend) Lucy are coming over for dinner and a good catch-up session. It's been awhile since the girls or the pups have gotten together. I'm going to make my favorite chicken enchilada recipe from Cooks Illustrated. La and I were talking about chicken enchiladas awhile back and she mentioned she could never get into cooking them because she had yet to find a recipe sans sour cream. This one is titled "lighter" chicken enchiladas but I've never felt like I was skimping on anything. It's always been one of those sure-fire meals when you need to impress company with your cooking skills (this and Makhani Chicken, mmmm hmm!)
It's very easy to make, I just always end up dirtying quite a few dishes in the process. If you're feeling adventurous and try this, I'll tell you my secrets: 1. Add 1/2 - 1 teaspoons of cinnamon (depending on your taste) to the sauce, or sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving (trust me). 2. Reserve some of the onion mixture after straining and add to shredded chicken.
Darling is going to be so sad he's missing it...
LIGHTER CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Serves 6. Published July 15, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.
Make sure that the cooked chicken is finely shredded, or the edges of large pieces will tear through the tortillas. Serve these enchiladas with lime wedges, low-fat sour cream, diced avocado, shredded lettuce, and hot sauce.
|1||medium onion , chopped fine|
|1/2||teaspoon vegetable oil|
|3||medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)|
|3||tablespoons chili powder|
|2||teaspoons ground cumin|
|2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce|
|1||pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), trimmed of excess fat|
|Ground black pepper|
|8||ounces 50 percent light cheddar cheese , shredded (2 cups)|
|1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapeños , drained and chopped|
|1/2||cup minced fresh cilantro|
|12||(6-inch) soft corn tortillas|
|Vegetable cooking spray|
|1||lime , cut into wedges (for serving)|
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the onion, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Toss together the shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of the cheddar, the jalapeños, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40 to 60 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
- Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Serve, passing the remaining 1 cup sauce and the lime wedges separately.