Chicken enchiladas

Mexican food is one of those things that you just can’t avoid, it seems–at least in my life. It’s so popular, and while in the past I really didn’t like it, I guess I’ve gotten to the point of peacefully coexisting alongside it. The thing is, when everybody wants to go out for Mexican, you don’t want to be the one person lobbying for Italian food. It seems unfashionable or something. Either that, or I’ve gotten so used to being overruled that I don’t even try anymore.

Anyway, over the years of finding one or two Mexican dishes on the menu that I’m willing to eat, I’ve realized that if I avoid certain ingredients, Mexican food can be pretty good. Things I don’t like: black beans (whole or all mashed up), peppers of any color (excluding jalapenos), and anything you can’t identify the contents of (that could potentially contain mushed-up beans or colored peppers, but not jalapenos).

Making enchiladas myself slowly began to sound like a great idea, mostly for the control it gives me over what’s hiding inside of them. That, and I love sour cream.

Chicken Enchiladas

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 of a small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 2 c sharp cheddar, shredded and divided in half
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 c diced grape tomatoes, divided in half
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 c salsa
  1. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, and put into a small, shallow dish. Pour lemon juice over the chicken, cover, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the chicken with the marinade juices in a large skillet. Once chicken is cooked on both sides and no longer pink in the middle (if your pieces are small, this won’t take long), drain the lemon juice and return skillet (with chicken) to low heat.
  3. Add onion, sour cream, 1 c of the shredded cheddar, and remaining salt and pepper to the skillet. Mix thoroughly until cheese has melted completely.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, jalapenos, tomatoes, garlic, and chili powder to the skillet. Stir until all ingredients are combined (everything should look pink).
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat. Spread 2-3 spoonfuls of filling onto a tortilla, roll like a burrito, and place (open side down) in a glass baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are full. Your tortillas should fit snugly next to each other in the baking dish.
  6. Spread salsa and remaining tomatoes over the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar and the  mozzarella.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow the dish to rest outside of the oven for about 5 minutes before serving.

Bonus: These are great as leftovers–store in the fridge in the same baking pan and reheat at 350 until the cheese melts again. I even took half of one to work for lunch. Yum! If you want, I suppose you could serve these with a side of beans and rice. But I don’t want to hear about it.


4 thoughts on “Chicken enchiladas

  1. 1. We share the same “love/hate” relationship with Mexican. I don’t really care for it and I think it’s mostly the texture of a lot of the food. Even though guacamole is one of my favorite dips, food you’re about to eat should not look like baby puke.

    2. I have found cheese quesadilla to be good at Mexican restaurants and occasionally a chicken and cheese quesadilla. But that’s about it.

    3. Those enchiladas look delicious! I think I will try making those sometime! I will alter the recipe a little bit though and rather than a jalapeno, use red and green peppers because we do differ there.

    • My theory is that because we didn’t grow up eating Mexican food, we never really cultivated a taste for those sorts of flavors. I hear ya on the baby puke thing, but I think that’s pretty much always related to beans (whole or mushed up). Generally in Mexican restaurants you can ask them to hold the beans. And I think putting red and green peppers in the enchiladas is a great idea (as long as you’re not cooking for me!). I’d use quite a bit more than the amount of jalapeno in my recipe, and maybe cut the tomatoes in half. Let me know it goes!

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