Chicken Enchiladas

10 12 2009

I realize that there is a theme developing here… lots of bird-related meals. I don’t know how that happened because honestly until the last few weeks I hadn’t cooked chicken in a long time. On the average I don’t eat nearly as much of it as I do pork… but somehow, here it is again. I made enchiladas last night and they turned out pretty damn good. These are their stories

They can be as simple or involved as you want… they’re good, cheap and easy to make. I’ve had a lot of enchiladas in my life, but until the last year or so I had never actually made them. Turns out they’re super easy to prepare and actually a really economical meal. I used cheap chicken for these but I’d recommend getting a decent bird… I used to claim that I couldn’t tell the difference with organic, free-range meat… but I can definitely tell. It looks different, tastes different, smells different. It tastes cleaner – probably because it is cleaner.

 

I used leg/thigh quarters because I prefer dark meat, generally… I used the whole quarters because I get extra flavor from the bones and all the other goodies and I get some more skin to play with. First step again – skin off, skin in oven. More chicken chips.

 

After that I saute the vegetables, toss in the chicken (which I broke down a little bit to fit in the pan better), season the whole lot and crank up the heat a bit. I toss in enough chicken stock to almost cover it and once it’s simmering, cover it and forget about it for a while.

 

After about 30 to 45 minutes of simmering, the chicken is ready to pull apart. I separate the juice from the filling and set the chicken aside. Now time to make the sauce. I use a little tequila to pull up some of the good stuff that collected on the bottom of the pan, burn off the alcohol, toss the stewing liquid back in the pan and start reducing. I also added a little tomato paste to give it some extra body.

 

While the sauce is reducing, time to shred the chicken and mix the filling. I added a little bit of the reducing sauce to moisten the filling. I had a big block of mild feta hanging around so I tossed some of that in for flavor.

 

I spread a handful of the mix on each tortilla, roll them up and pack em in a baking pan. When the sauce is reduced and starting to thicken, I add a little bit of canned Mexican tomato sauce. Now, time to top them.

 

After the sauce is on, I scatter a little more feta on top and toss the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes to warm them through.

 

Back up to the top for the final plate. I topped the enchilada with a little more of the tomato sauce and some crispy chicken skin.

Ingredients:

Essential:

– 2 chicken leg/thigh quarters, but could be any cut
– 1-2 cups of stock, broth, water, beer… whatever you have around
– corn tortillas

What makes it better:
oregano
garlic salt
celery seed
mustard seed
– Some paprika would have been good too, although I didn’t use any

– 1-2oz tequila (a healthy shot)
– 1 small can of “Salsa de Chile Fresco” or any similar tomato sauce

cheese – I prefer cotija, feta, etc. but mozzarella is good too

This made about 8-10 good size enchiladas.

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