26 April 2011

Mexican meh -- Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chiles & Cheese

I love Mexican food.  Capital-L Love.  Chile rellenos, enchiladas, guacamole, nachos, you name it, I love it.  I've perfected a few recipes to make at home -- carnitas, Chipotle-inspired soft tacos and burritos, refried black beans -- but I am still trying to make enchiladas that are as good as our local hole-in-the-wall for those nights hauling 3 kids out to dinner just isn't going to happen.

Thanks to Pinterest , I found this Rick Bayless-inspired recipe on Elly's blog and decided to try it out.  After all, Rick Bayless is (at least according to my impression watching Top Chef Masters ) the go-to dude for accessible Mexican recipes.  I should've known not to trust a white guy with a soul patch.  *shakes head sadly*

Anyway, the original recipe and Elly's adjustments are on her blog.  Here's what I used:

*6 medium-size dried guajillo chiles, stems removed
*4 cloves garlic
*1 28-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes and their juice
*1/4 tsp. ground cumin
*1 tsp. ground black pepper
*1 cup chicken broth
*3 shredded chicken breasts
*1/2 white onion, plus a bit diced for garnish
*10 corn tortillas
*4 oz. shredded Oaxaca cheese
*diced avocado for garnish

First, I seasoned the chicken breasts with salt & pepper, granulated garlic, and oregano and roasted them at 375 for 30 minutes.

I toasted the dried chiles in a dry saucepan over medium heat and flattened them with a spatula a couple of times, then chucked those, the garlic, the tomatoes, the cumin & pepper into my food processor and blended until it was smooth.  I pressed it through a fine sieve and put it on medium heat to reduce.
When it was about the consistency of tomato paste I added the chicken broth.

While the sauce simmered, I set the oven to preheat to 350 and put the tortillas in to warm.  After about 10 minutes, I poured about a cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass pan and mixed about 1/2 cup of sauce into the shredded chicken.
To assemble the enchiladas, I dipped both sides of a warmed tortilla into the remaining sauce, then filled it with chicken, rolled it, and placed seam-side down in the pan.  Once they were all assembled, I poured the remaining sauce over them, sprinkled the cheese on and popped it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Overall, this dish was OK.  It wasn't quite hole-in-the-wall good, but it was decent, and Darling Husband really liked it.  The sauce, even though I added two more chiles, two more cloves of garlic & the onion *and* left out the sugar that Bayless' original recipe calls for, was kind of bizarrely sweet.  If I try this recipe again, I'd like to try it with plain tomatoes to see if that makes any difference.

If anyone has a fabulous enchilada recipe, please share!
Linking to Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings , Tasty Tuesdays at 33 Shades of Green and What I Made Wednesday at Sweet Peas & Bumblebees !

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