Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mom's Chicken Enchiladas

This was my most-requested meal growing up. While not the easiest dish to make and certainly not the healthiest, this is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of comfort food. I like to make a giant batch of these so we have leftovers to freeze. The key to the leftovers is to freeze them just after you roll them and before cooking them - this keeps them from drying out when you reheat. Feel free to play with the recipe too. My mom sometimes adds fresh cilantro and fresh jalapeno.

Time: 2 hours
Serves: 12?

  • 5-6 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cans of RoTel
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 lb block of Velveeta
  • ~30 corn tortillas
  1. If you need to cook your chicken, use the method I described in my Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers recipe. I did this with 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and wound up with 5-6 cups of chicken. You could also use a rotisserie chicken or any other leftover chicken you might have.
  2. Peel and chop your onion.
  3. Open your cans of tomatoes and RoTel and drain them into a bowl. You might need the extra liquid later.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350°
  5. Get out 2 large baking dishes and a few freezer-safe flat containers to roll the enchiladas into. A 13 inch baking dish should hold about 12 enchiladas and this recipe makes about 30 to give you an idea of what you need.
  1. Put a large saucepan over medium heat and add your 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) of butter.
  2. Once your butter melts, add your chopped onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until onions are tender but not yet brown.
  3. Add your drained tomatoes and RoTel and cook for another 10 minutes until tomatoes cook down a bit.
  4. Cut your Velveeta into chunks and add those to the onion and tomato mixture, stirring it together until the cheese is melted.
  5. Add your chicken to the mixture and stir together. At this point, your mixture should be a similar thickness to fresh queso. You can add some of your reserved tomato mixture to thin it out a bit if you need to. This is a good time to get out the chips and taste it to make sure it's okay. ;)
  6. Now you'll need to soften your tortillas. You can do this while the Velveeta is melting if you think of it. If not, just keep your sauce on low heat while you warm the first batch of tortillas. Lay out as many tortillas as you can fit on your biggest baking sheet. Spray one side with spray oil, then flip them and spray the other side. Put the pan in the oven for 3 minutes. Repeat this until all of your tortillas are warm, keeping them in a clean dish towel so they'll stay warm as you go.
  7. Once your first batch of tortillas is warm, you can start assembling your enchiladas. Spoon a heaping TBSP full of the sauce into each tortilla, rolling them and laying them in a baking dish as you go. I think I burned my hand getting this picture so I hope it gives you a good feel for how much filling you need.
  8. Top each of your baking dishes with more of the enchilada sauce. I did this as I finished each pan to make sure I'd have enough sauce to fully cover each pan.
  9. Freeze the dishes you aren't making right away and bake your batch for tonight for 20-30 minutes until bubbling and crisp around the edges.

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