If you have read my blog for a while now, you know that my husband and I garden, grow a lot of our own produce, and enjoy cooking with fresh, seasonal, local, & organic ingredients... yadda yadda. Well, sometimes you get lazy and just want to be a little bad.
The following recipe is for those times.
This recipe is not for those who are watching their weight or sodium intake- as it relies on a fair amount of cheese and
pre-made/ canned ingredients. I'm fairly certain that one serving is your entire daily caloric intake, and must have been
originally created in the 1970's (sliced black olives??). Once baked, it really is more casserole-like (70's influence) than
traditional enchiladas. But it is soooo good and comforting on a chilly winter's evening.
We usually make this a couple of times during the "winter" in L.A. Fun for New Year's Day spent at home recovering,
or a casual holiday get-together with a couple of good friends.
It's easy, but not quick...it takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. If you are making it for two,
you'll have plenty of leftovers for the week.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4 as a main dish
2 cloves of Garlic peeled & smashed with the flat side of a knife
1 Jalapeño Pepper, halved with seeds & core removed
1/4- 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 small can of sliced Black Olives
1 32 oz box of reduced sodium chicken broth
1 regular sized jar of salsa
1 package of large yellow corn tortillas
1 16 oz can of red enchilada sauce
1 16 oz can of green enchilada sauce
1 16 oz package of shredded reduced fat "Mexican" cheese
1/4 cup of crumbled Queso Fresco (optional)
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 3 small to medium boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Heat oven to 375 F.
Take a large pot, placed rinsed, trimmed chicken breasts in the pot with the jalapeño, garlic, & pour in chicken broth
so breasts are just covered completely with liquid. Add a little water if needed to accomplish this. Bring to a boil on
a stovetop over medium- high heat, then reduce to a simmer until the breasts are cooked all the way through.
Cut into the breasts with a knife to check doneness.
Be sure to do this step in a kitchen with decent ventilation. If your jalapeño turns out to be a spicy one, boiling it can
sometimes irritate the eyes & nose (like cutting a strong onion). This usually does not bother me, but some individuals
may be more sensitive.
Carefully drain the pot of the broth, leaving the breasts, garlic, and jalapeño in the pot. A little broth left in the pot is o.k.
Shred the chicken with a knife and a fork. Mash/ cut up the garlic & jalapeño. This is optional.
The original recipe (yeah yeah, I know Jessica Alba, but trust me this is good) tells you to discard the garlic &
jalapeño with the broth- but I think the dish tastes better with it left in. Discard any fatty, gristly bits of chicken.
Mix nearly the entire jar of salsa into the pot with the shredded chicken, garlic, and jalapeño. I just usually use Herdez
brand, medium spicy, but you can use your brand of choice, and vary the amount of salsa you add to the shredded
Refrigerate chicken and salsa mixture until ready to use.
Mix 3/4 package of shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, and most of the olives together in a medium bowl.
Mix together & heat the red and green enchilada sauces in a sauce pan. You can play around with the amount of sauce
and brands, level of spiciness, etc. I like to mix the red sauce with the green.The red has a nice savory flavor and
tends to be a little milder, the green has a nice acidity and tends to be spicier. Mixing them together combines the best
of both worlds.
Heat 8 tortillas. You can wrap them in slightly damp paper towels and do this in the microwave, but I prefer to heat them
one by one in a non- stick pan. Heating the tortillas make them more pliable, and easier to roll. Set warmed tortillas
Prepare a large casserole dish by spraying the inside with a a non-stick oil cooking spray. Trader Joe's makes an olive
oil spray that I use.
Assemble enchiladas: take a warm tortilla, place approximately 2 tablespoons of the salsa and chicken mixture down
the center of the tortilla and a handful of the cheese, olive, and cilantro mixture on top of that. Fold/ roll tortilla,
place seam down in the oiled casserole dish. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled and in the casserole dish. You can
play around with the meat/ cheese ratio to suit your liking. Even the # of tortillas that you use & fill if your casserole
dish is big enough! Cover the enchiladas with approximately 1/2 - 3/4 of the warmed enchilada sauce. Sprinkle remaining
shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, olives, and the 1/4 cup of the queso fresco on top. Pop in the oven for 20-30
minutes and bake until sauce is bubbling, the cheese is slightly browned, and the enchiladas are heated through.
Serve with remaining sauce on the side, a mixed green salad, and/ or refried beans.
Tastes even better the next day as leftovers!!
**Bonus: Other "Bad" Recipes that I like: Warm Artichoke Dip, Cheez-It Chicken, and Chocolate Covered Peanut
Butter Balls (made with Nutter Butters...thanks Joanna for introducing me to this one!)