Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Easy Enchiladas


Old blog post from another blog where I posted recipes with a couple friends.  Now that my oldest has moved out, she needs recipes and I know she'll like this.

I'm all about fool-proof.  And you should be too.  No offense.  I'm not calling you a fool.  I have been making these enchiladas for centuries, and they've never not been enjoyed.  I'm saying they're enjoyable.  They are not "scratch" authentic Mexican cuisine.  They are "what can I make that my kids will actually eat that won't take me an entire weekend to prepare" Mexican cuisine.  A lot of the recipe (all) can be made in advance, refrigerated, and cooked the next day.

I made these the day before yesterday and then when my parents watched the kids yesterday I had them just shove the dish in the oven and take 'em out before I got home.

So...without further adieu:  Easy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

What you'll need:
13 x 9 pyrex dish (or whatever you can heat in an oven)
1 package burrito size tortillas
2 chicken breasts
15 oz can enchilada sauce (mild or hot, they're all good)
1 lb cheese (give or take)
dried mince garlic

Prepare in advance in advance (not a typo).

Cook your chicken.  A couple words about chicken.  My wife, god rest her soul, used to boil the chicken in this recipe.  Boil it.  It was still great.  You literally cannot fuck up this chicken.  It's impossible.  So...cook the chicken however you want.  Emma...you can cook this in a pan with butter, since you don't have a grill!

A couple things.  When I took over this recipe I grilled the chicken.  I seasoned the hell out of it with salt, pepper, and dried minced garlic, and grilled it.  And it made it even better.

Tip 1:  Suck at preparing chicken on the grill?  (too dry on the outside, still not done on the inside?)  Butterfly it.  Cut it in half thickness-wise.  Cooks faster and more evenly.  Okay...

Tip 2:  I once heard Lydia (of Lydia's Italian Cuccina) on a cooking show say that when you cook chicken you should season it three times.  Once before you cook it, then as you cook it, then after it's done.  DO THIS.  Chicken...I don't know why this is...is bland as shit unless you really season it.  Like...more than you think you should.  I typically only season it before I cook it then after it's done.  And the only seasoning I add AFTER I cook it is salt.  But seriously.  Grill this chicken, then slice it up (we'll get there in a minute) then taste it.  Needs salt.  Add salt.  I was just talking to Emma about this literally last night.  I'm glad I found this old post.

Okay...so grill your seasoned chicken to taste (DO NOT TASTE THE RAW CHICKEN...it's just something people say).  Mine is usually about a 1/2" thick, and takes about three minutes per side in a hot grill.

Let the chicken cool a bit, and cut in about 1/2" pieces.  TASTE THE CHICKEN.  If it's sorta bland...that's the sign that you should add salt.  Honestly though?  Even if you STILL don't season the chicken.  This will still be good.

Okay...put the chicken in a bowl and add about half of the can of enchilada sauce.  mix it up and set aside.

If you stopped here, refrigerated the chicken and finished the rest the next day?  That would work.  Otherwise...

Grate the cheese in a big bowl.  It's a lot of cheese so you need a lot of bowl.

Use non-stick spray to grease your 13 x 9 dish, and lay a tortilla in it.  Spoon a serving spoon full of the cut chicken mix into the middle.  Top with cheese.  Roll up and slide against the edge of the dish.  Repeat until you run out of room or run out of chicken mix.  If you run out of cheese...god help you, why are you using so much fucking cheese?  Grate some more.  It'll be even more delicious, but you will probably die of heart failure sometime during the night.

Drizzle the rest of the enchilada sauce atop the shells.

Cover the entire thing with all the rest of the cheese.  You ran out of cheese again, didn't you, dummy?  Grate some more. 

Okay...if you stopped HERE...cover, put in refrigerator and cook the following day.  That would work TOO.  Otherwise...

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Put the dish in the oven.
Cook for 15 - 20 minutes (the chicken is already cooked, so you're essentially just heating it up and melting the cheese) or until the cheese (jesus, how much did you use?) is all bubbly and melty.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some chives or (if you're in a sour cream free/green stuff free home like ours) plain. 

~ Jim

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