Monday, December 6, 2010

Pollo Enchiladas Rojos

For some reason, I think the name of this recipe sounds better in Spanish, so I've renamed it. :) Over the years, I've done lots of experimenting with chicken enchiladas. I started out with my mom's rich, wonderful enchiladas which were drenched in a sour cream sauce. I've tried plain chicken enchiladas, chicken enchiladas with green sauce, and chicken enchiladas with some chard mixed in. My experimenting with new recipes for chicken enchiladas is officially over. I love this recipe. It's not terribly difficult to make and it tastes fabulous!

I needed to make some significant modifications to this recipe, because according to M, this recipe would be TOO SPICY. (You would not believe what foods she complains about being too spicy--things that have no spice at all!) Thankfully, even with most of the spice taken out, it didn't taste bland and was full of flavor. Everyone really enjoyed this, even M. Curtis, bless his heart, told me this was his favorite chicken enchilada recipe I've made.

This recipe makes a lot of enchiladas--two shallow baking dishes worth. I split the chicken mixture and the sauce mixture in half. Half I used to I make one pan of enchiladas. The other half went in the freezer and made for a fabulously easy new baby meal for a friend.

Pollo Enchiladas Rojos
adapted from Food and Wine

Optional spicy addition to sauce
3 each of guajillo chiles and ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
3 c hot water

1 medium onion, quartered
3 lg garlic cloves
1 T ground cumin
1 1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground oregano
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 c tomato sauce (20 oz)
1 c water

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 lg onion, thinly sliced (3 c)
1/2 c chicken broth or water
4 c shredded cooked chicken (or turkey if you are looking to get rid of T'giving leftovers)
1 t cumin
1/4 c cilantro
3 c Monterey Jack cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
16 flour, whole wheat, or corn tortillas (not burrito-sized)

For the chiles: Cover the chiles in hot water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, until softened. Transfer chiles to a food processor or blender. Add 1 c of soaking liquid. Proceed with rest of recipe.

For the sauce: Place onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, and oregano in a food processor. Add 1 c of water (if you didn't use the chiles above). Puree until smooth. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Add the tomato sauce and water. Add the pureed onion mixture (if using the chiles as well, press the onion mixture through a sieve before adding to the tomato sauce to remove any stray chile seeds and skins). Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and cook, until the onions are very soft and the broth has evaporated, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Stir in cumin, cilantro, and 1 1/2 c of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the tortillas, Spoon 3/4 c of sauce into the bottom of two shallow baking dishes (I used 2 9x13" pans. Neither pan was full, but held 8 tortillas comfortably). Soften the tortillas (I heat 4 flour tortillas at a time in the microwave for 15 seconds). Spoon 1/4 c filling into each tortilla, roll up, and place in pan. Repeat. Spoon remaining sauce over top (dividing between 2 pans) and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover pan with foil (or oven safe lid).

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil/lid and bake an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot, topped with sour cream or salsa, if desired.

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