In addition to dessert, I do eat dinner once in a while and I generally like things to be nice and easy to make on any given weeknight. I’m a big fan of enchiladas, but they’re one of those dishes that I never really tried to make at home because they seemed like they’d be time consuming. Fortunately, they’re not at all difficult to make and the homemade versions taste better than many of the restaurant versions I’ve tried (and were at least as satisfying as some of the best I’ve had). I also like the fact that you can play around with the filling for these enchiladas to come up with a combination that suits your tasted, whether you like them meatier or cheesier.
I used chicken for these enchiladas. They start out with a spicy tomato-based sauce that is based on an Emeril Lagasse recipe that I like. I make it a little bit spicier, but feel free to go with the original if you like it mild. The sauce is cooked in a saucepan to thicken it a bit. For the filling, you can either poach some chicken, use leftover chicken or go out and buy an inexpensive rotisserie chicken to start. The meat is shredded and mixed with some of the sauce, then wrapped in corn tortillas and packed into a big 9×13-inch pan to be covered with cheese and more sauce, then baked until everything comes together.
This recipe makes a pretty big batch, but is easy to double if you need to feed a bigger crowd. Don’t worry about trying to halve it for smaller servings because it makes great leftovers. I serve this with guacamole and sour cream, and always put out some tortilla chips to scoop any of the filling that falls out onto the plate as you eat.
Homemade Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
12-oz tomato paste
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
12 medium-sized corn tortillas
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine oil and flour (add flour when oil is hot) and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth. Cool for 1 minute. Add dry spices and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds. Add in chipotle peppers, tomato paste, chicken stock and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Place chicken in a medium bowl and top with about 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese and stir well.
Spread about 3/4 cup sauce over the bottom of the pan. Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture (or a little less) in each tortilla and roll it up like a taquito. Place in the baking dish. Repeat with all remaining chicken and tortillas, creating an even layer of rolled tortillas over the bottom of the pan. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle cheese over the top.
Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving with guacamole and sour cream.