Monday, November 21, 2011

chicken enchiladas

I have the great good fortune to live in a geographical area where delicious, cheap Mexican food is everywhereSeriously.  Within a half-mile of our house, I can count six Mexican joints.  When Jeff and I go, we usually split something, because let's be honest - I'm full after the chips.  Also, Mexican restaurants have totally given a bad name to all other restaurants that don't give you some kind of free all-you-can-eat starch.

I'm partial to cheese enchiladas.  I love the soft corn tortillas, the spicy red sauce, and the oodles of cheese seeping their yummy yellow grease out onto the plate.  Something tells me this can't be on my diet plan.  I mean, all the elements in moderation would probably be fine, but that much cheese in one place is dangerous. 

I stewed a pasture-fed chicken last week to make special broth to puree with the baby's food (no salt or spice, no veggies - just chicken and water).  So, I had a ton of stewed chicken meat in the freezer waiting for me to think of something.  Having recently renewed a commitment to exercise and healthy diet after a church member asked me if I was already pregnant again (ouch!, and also:  why!?), I decided to go after my favorite enchiladas.  Here's what I did:

Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas
1 T olive oil
1/4 of a medium onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 pound shredded stewed chicken (whatever combination of light and dark meat you fancy)
1 cup enchilada sauce (I used this one), divided
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup light sour cream, divided
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
6 corn tortillas
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium.  Add in the garlic and onion.  Saute 5 minutes, stirring so it won't burn.  Add in the chicken.  Stir and let it warm up.  Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the skillet.  Add the spinach and let it wilt down.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the sour cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper and pull off the heat.

Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.

In a separate, dry skillet, warm each tortilla over medium for five seconds on each side, to make them pliable.  As you finish warming one, fill it with a spoonful of the chicken filling and place it seam-side down in the baking dish.  Place them close together so they won't come apart.  Once all six are in there, pour the remaining 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese over the top. 

You will most likely have extra chicken filling.  Eat it with a fork while you are waiting for the enchiladas to be done (kidding!  Or not.  Or just save it for lunch tomorrow).

Place in the oven until the top is melted and bubbly (about fifteen minutes).  Serves two or three, depending on hunger level. 

Sorry about these photos!!  Photographing food is hard . . . and I forgot until after I ate a couple!


David the Librarian said...

Hooray! Mom's chicken enchiladas were always one of my favorites.

Emily said...

Is this like Mom's? I don't think hers had spinach . . .

Also, forgot something in the recipe: dice that onion before you put it in the skillet!