The Recipes

Chicken Enchiladas

I went to high school in Arizona, which even in Phoenix is chock-full of chain restaurants.  One thing I cannot deny: when you put me in any Mexican restaurant with free-flowing chips and salsa, I really just love something cheesy and melty.  One of my favorite places to go for lunch was a restaurant that certainly served substandard food but was cozy and satisfied the craving for things like the enchiladas below.  I'd like to think mine might be a little bit better than substandard:)

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Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

- 1/2 c. tomato sauce

- 1 tsp. Mexican oregano

- 1 tsp. cumin

- 1/2 jalapeno, grated

- 1 garlic clove, grated

- 1 T. chopped chile in adobo (or grated if frozen)

- 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

- 1 chicken breast

- 1 lemon, halved

- 1 bay leaf

- 1 T. peppercorns

- 1 cinnamon stick

- 2 small flour tortillas

- sour cream, for garnish

- 1 scallion, sliced for garnish

- 1/2 c. cheddar cheese (optional)

- salt

- pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small pot, combine the tomato sauce, oregano, cumin, jalapeno, chile in adobo, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer.

Put the chicken breast in a separate pot.  Add the peppercorns, cinnamon stick, lemon, and bay leaf.  Cover with water and add a pinch of salt.  Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board and strain the liquid.  Reserve the liquid for future cooking purposes.

Shred the chicken using two forks, making sure to discard the skin.  Add it to the red sauce and let it simmer for 3-4 more minutes.

Lay the tortillas on a flat surface.  If using, sprinkle a little bit of cheese onto each tortilla.  Spoon a little bit of filling into each tortilla, top with a sprinkling of onion, and roll each one up.  Put them seam-side down in a baking dish.  Spoon some of the leftover sauce over the top of the pan.  Sprinkle cheese, if using, on top of the enchiladas.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes.

Plate the enchiladas and garnish with the sour cream and scallions.