Sunday, May 27, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

[By the way, the original title of this recipe is Creamy Green Chicken Enchiladas, but since they're not actually green, I figured I'd remove the word green before it scared someone off.]

I don't post recipes for dishes that we don't find delicious, but this one? It's fantastic. I first tasted these enchiladas at a Cinco de Mayo party at a neighbor's house. I'd never thought that much of enchiladas before, but these made me say, "Wow. I want to have these again!"  Fortunately, Caron was kind enough to share the recipe with me. (Thanks, Caron!)

Warning: They don't call these Creamy Chicken Enchiladas If you are lactose intolerant, be sure to refresh your stock of digestive enzyme tablets before eating this very-dairy dish!


8-oz pack cream cheese, softened
16-oz jar of green tomatillo salsa (or make your own--Caron's recipe is at the end)
(For you gringos like me who haven't a clue what green tomatillo salsa is, try "Salsa Verde".)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsps cumin (I like mine freshly-ground, hence the grinder in the photo.)
Big pinch of salt
Freshly-ground, black pepper (as much as you like)

5 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used all the meat from a rotisserie chicken.)
1 can cream-of-chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
3 cups Mexican cheese
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
*1 can black beans w jalapenos in lime juice (see note below)
15-20 small corn or flour tortillas (I bought a ten-pack and ended up using 12 (grabbing a few more from another tortillas stash that I have.)

Serve with taco sauce.

In a large pan, over medium heat, mix salsa, cream cheese, and spices (the first group of ingredients above.)

When smooth, remove from heat and add chicken, soup, sour cream, cilantro, and 1 cup of the cheese.

Mix well.

If it's too stiff, you can add milk, chicken stock, or more salsa so it's easier to spoon.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9 x 13 pan with oil.

Warm tortillas and add a couple of heaping tablespoonsfull of the chicken mixture across the bottom third of a tortilla (I was generous.)

and roll it up, placing it seam-down in the pan. I fit nine small tortillas in my 9 x 13 pan, and this is how much chicken mixture I had left!

Spread extra chicken mixture over the tops of the enchiladas in the pan.

Again, I was generous, and I still had this much left!

*If you're like me and at this point you realize that you never put the beans in, do what I did and add some to the mixture you have left.

I used that to put three more enchiladas in an oval, 2-quart dish that we have, using the single tortilla I had left, plus two more from my stock. A perfect lunch for Mr.4444 some day when he's home alone!

Top with the rest of the cheese.

Spray a piece of foil with oil (or use non-stick foil) and cover the dish. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Remember those beans I'd forgotten? I topped my serving with some beans and a little taco sauce. The red sauce really topped these off nicely, and they were absolutely delicious. This is definitely my new favorite recipe.

You can also make your own green salsa "very easily":
about 20 tomatillos, de-husked and washed
2 jalapenos
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
Mix the above with one tablespoon of olive oil and roast in 350-degree oven 30 minutes, until tomatillos are soft and onions have golden-brown edges. Allow to cool slightly and then blitz in food processor. (Caron is from England; don't you just love that "blitz" term?!) If you don't like it as hot you can remove seeds from the jalapenos first, or just use one.  You can also just add green chillies and make without the beans, but the extra fiber and protein are good for you! Caron is sure this recipe couldn't be lightened up quite easily, and the chicken soup could be replaced by chicken stock.