Saturday, September 11, 2010

Leftovers -- Chicken Enchiladas in a Hurry

When I cook, I cook as if I'm feeding an army, so I usually have a lot of leftovers.  So it wasn't surprising that a recent holiday dinner/son birthday party resulted in lots of leftover baked chicken.  I turned the leftovers into a quick enchilada dish that I have made with assorted variations over the years. (Leftover rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken also works just fine.)

I am giving approximate measurements, feel free to improvise your own variation and let me know how it turned out.  A cooking buddy (A Woman Called Sam) asked if I had posted the recipe after I wrote on Facebook about it, so I decided to throw it up now rather than wait for the photo or more precise measurements.  This is a very adaptable recipe and one I have never made the same way twice.

Easy Enchiladas

If you make these with corn tortillas they will be gluten free. (I've also noticed some brown rice flour gluten free tortillas in the supermarket lately but haven't tried those).

This version doesn't include them, but I've also tossed in sauteed mushrooms, cooked chopped greens, cooked corn and all sorts of other goodies. Feel free to add them with the chicken if you  have leftover veggies on hand. 

You can find the chopped green chiles and enchilada sauce in the Hispanic/Mexican section of most large supermarkets. 

This recipe comes out a bit on the spicy (but not super hot) side.  If spiciness is a concern, cut back (or eliminate) the green chiles and or make a mixture of half tomato sauce/half red enchilada sauce in place of the straight enchilada sauce.

Chicken or vegetable bullion cube to make 2 cups broth or 2 cups stock
Leftover chicken, skin removed and  the meat shredded (I must have used the equivalent of 3+ half breasts)
8 ounces of cream cheese (low-fat and fat free okay)
3 handfuls of shredded cheese (I used mozzarella because that's what I had on hand.  I recommend some mozzarella or Oaxaca cheese but it's also good with shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese or crumbled Mexican queso fresca)
4 oz can chopped green chiles
4 scallions, chopped
About half a large can (28 oz) of enchilada sauce (I used the red sauce this time and have made my own sauce in the past as well.  Green sauce is also tasty.)
Flour or corn tortillas (medium size)
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Sour cream, Mexican sour cream or plain yogurt, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or use microwave). Boil water and make bullion in large bowl (or heat stock in wide pot). Keep warm. Spoon a thin coat of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a medium large baking pan. (if planning on heating in microwave be sure to use a microwaveable pan.) In a large bowl, combine the chicken, chiles, 3/4 of the chopped scallions and cream cheese.  Add 1/4 cup of the warm broth, mix well until combined, adding more broth as needed to soften cream cheese.  Add two handfuls of cheese. Mix.  Dip one tortilla at a time in the warm broth. (Just moistening it.).  Lay flat. Put about 2 Tbs. of the chicken and cheese mixture in a vertical line down the center of the tortilla. Wrap filling and place filled tortilla seam side down in baking dish. Repeat until filling is used up. Spoon enchilada sauce on top, completely covering tops of enchiladas.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Heat in oven or microwave until sauce is bubbly, cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through (about 40-50 minutes in oven). Scatter cilantro on top and serve with sour cream if desired.  I served this with rice cooked in tomato juice on the side with a green salad.

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