Friday, February 28, 2014

Cook's Illustrated's Chicken Enchiladas

Here is another family favorite that we have all the time.  Cook's Illustrated's Best International Recipe cookbook is such a great resource, we love everything we have tried in it.  This is such a tasty enchilada recipe, I don't think I've ever had home made enchiladas that I like better.   This time we made it with Monterey jack cheese, but we have used cheddar before as well, and both are great.  I will list the ingredients we used this time, but we have done it differently in the past, and no matter how we make it, it is delicious.  This makes 12 enchiladas, and the calories for 1 enchilada are 210.  Aaron and Noah and I give this a perfect 10, and Owen gives it a 9, because he thinks enchiladas are too spicy.  Here's what we did:

1 1/2 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 T chili powder
2 t ground coriander
2 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
2 t sugar
1 lb chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
3/4 c water
1/2 c coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1 4 oz can mild green chilies
10 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
12 6-inch corn tortillas

Heat the oil in a large saucepan until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the chicken and coat thoroughly with the spices, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded, about 8-10 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 300, and spray the tortillas with cooking spray on both sides.  Cook the tortillas for 2-4 minutes in the oven on a cookie sheet.  Pour the chicken mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the strained chicken to extract as much sauce as possible; set the sauce aside.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and freeze for 10 minutes to allow easier handling.  When cooled enough, combine the chicken with the chilies, cilantro, and 2 cups of the cheese.  Smear 3/4 c of the sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan, then fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture.  Arrange the filled tortillas seam side down in the dish, then cover with the remaining sauce, coating the top of each tortilla.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the enchiladas.  Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees, then cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Uncover and serve immediately.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it really comes together pretty quickly, and it tastes so darn good :)


  1. Have you made these for us before? I don't remember the recipe. I will have to try it. Sure enjoyed talking to all of you yesterday. Love mom

    1. I haven't made it for you before, but definitely try it.