Chicken Enchiladas

A couple of weeks ago I was on the search for good prep and freeze meals for a dear friend.  Annie has a great post about stocking the freezer with make ahead meals that I found extremely inspiring and helpful.  So much so that I made two of her recipes, these enchiladas included.  Surprisingly enough I’ve never made enchiladas before, and let me tell you, I am sold.  Even though they are a bit time consuming, the flavor is awesome and the result is totally worth it!

you will need:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded & finely chopped
canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (14-15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 (14-15 oz.) can diced  tomatoes with green chiles
Salt and pepper
white meat of 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 cups shredded cheese (sharp white cheddar cheese and/or monterey jack, etc)
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
non-stick cooking spray

Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and add canola one turn around the pan.  Add the onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and diced tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook about 15 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, shred the white meat from the rotisserie chicken.  Strain the sauce in a large mesh trainer into a bowl, pressing down on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible.  Season sauce with some salt and pepper.  Transfer the solids remaining in the strainer to a large bowl.  Add in the shredded chicken, ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheese and the cilantro. Stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 425° and coat a 9 x 13″ (or similar) baking dish with cooking spray. Heat the tortillas until warm and pliable. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚ and remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

serves: 6
time: 30 min. prep time + 55 min. cook time
adapted ever so slightly fromAnnie’s Eats

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