Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are dead easy to prepare, and will fill you up

An enchilada, in Tex-Mex cooking, is a corn tortilla wrapped around a filling, with chopped onions and shredded Monterey Jack cheese piled on top, drowned in enchilada sauce and baked until well heated and the cheese has melted. I would like the tortillas to remain intact when the enchilada is served, but this seems to be a dream only. It is a good reason for not overcooking, though I like to make sure everything is hot enough. Perhaps a meat thermometer could be used to check the internal temperature. Various brands of enchilada sauce are available in the supermarket. I used a small can of Ortega Enchilada Sauce for this recipe, which is a red sauce. A green chile sauce would also be good. Try different brands until you find one that you like best.

The filling in this case is made from equal amounts of cream cheese and sour cream. For four enchiladas, you need about a cup of this. Then I added about a quarter cup of the enchilada sauce to make a pink mixture, to which I added the shredded chicken. If you are using green enchilada sauce, chopped canned green chiles can be added, either mild ones or Jalapeños, as you prefer. The chiles can even replace the chicken. In this recipe, I put in some dried red chile flakes (quite spicy) to make the enchiladas picante (the sauce is not). Adjust the amount to suit your tastes; not much is required.

Pour about half the remaining enchilada sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Put about two tablespoons of filling in the center of each tortilla, spread it out into a line, then roll the tortilla around it. Put the tortilla in the baking dish, with the loose end down. Four tortillas side by side fit in my baking dish. Now cover the enchiladas with a generous heap of chopped yellow onion and grated Monterey Jack cheese. Sliced black olives can be used as a garnish if you like. Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce on top.

Bake in a 350° oven until the cheese has melted and everything is warm, but do not overdo it. Half an hour is ample. Everything is already cooked and only needs to get hot. I have not tried a microwave, but it might do.

Serve alone, or with Mexican rice or frijoles refritos, or both. Chopped green onions can serve as a garnish. Make Mexican rice by cooking rice with chopped tomato and green chiles, seasoned with cumin or chile powder, or with prepared Mexican rice spices. Cole slaw is also a nice contrast of texture and taste. This recipe proved very tasty, and was a hearty meal for one.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 30 May 2002
Last revised 30 July 2002