Savory Chicken Enchiladas

If you like enchiladas, you will absolutely love this recipe. I have never had enchiladas this good...ever.

A few weeks ago, I started following several cooking blogs including Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, Eliza Domestica, One Particular Kitchen, Blog Chef, Pink Parsley, Bohemian Transplant, and Food Gawker.  You can access each of their blogs by visiting my Delicious Cooking Stack.  I have seen some great recipes on these blogs, and I have been inspired to get back in the kitchen and try some new things.

I am sure it is obvious by now that I am on a Mexican kick.  I can’t help it!  After dieting for 8 months and losing 36 pounds, Mexican food is one of the things I have really missed.  So, when I found this chicken enchilada recipe, I had to try it.  Of course, I also had to modify it as well!  Here is what I can tell you, so listen closely:  These are the BEST enchiladas I have ever put in my mouth.  I mean, they are fantastic.  I will warn you that they are a little more labor intensive than recipes I generally post, but I can also assure you that they are completely worth it. And…although they require a little more work, they are not difficult at all.

Cheesy, Mexican goodness!

I have made up my mind that when my friends Kevin, John, and Pluma come for their annual Christmas visit, we will enjoy Salsa Rojo, Guacamole Especial, and margaritas while preparing these enchiladas.  Now, that will make 1 hour and 45 minutes fly by!

From start to finish, this recipe will take you about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
This recipe makes 10 medium-sized enchiladas.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
3 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 large breasts)
2 cups extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
2 cups Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
10 medium-sized soft flour tortillas
cooking spray, salt and ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.
Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. (Turn chicken at 6 minutes.)
Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.
Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.
Transfer the onions/tomatoes to a large bowl and set aside.
Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces with food processor or chopper, and add to the onion/tomato mixture with 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese and 1 cup Cheddar cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 60 seconds.
Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each.
Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.
Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese.
Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns.
Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.

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