Thursday, April 5, 2012

White Chicken Enchiladas

This past weekend was our last weekend in March, and I had to cook one last recipe, the Chicken Pot Pie.  So I went to Kroger for chicken, and ended up buying more than we needed for that recipe.  (I intentionally bought extra.)  Chicken is one of those things I try to always have in the house, and often enough Mick and I will cook it, shred it, and use it all week in various dishes, so I bought extra even though I didn't have a particular dish in mind.

Well, yesterday I knew we weren't going out to dinner, Mick and I both felt like junk (still!), and I didn't really know what I wanted to do with the chicken.  So I quickly took a peek at our April recipes and realized that with a quick trip to Costo for some bell peppers, we could make the enchiladas. 

White Chicken Enchiladas

Verdict:  Fabulous! Labor-intensive, though. And this recipe makes a LOT!
Cook it Again:   Definitely! 
Cost Factor: Not too bad, again.  As usual, we had most of the stuff, and I got the chicken on sale.

I posted yesterday about how I am not usually a big fan of enchiladas, but when I realized we had almost everything on hand for this recipe, it became our project for dinner last night.  It worked out well that we had nothing going on yesterday afternoon, because for whatever reason, this ended up taking almost two hours of prep time.  I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous, but I didn't have the chicken cooked up, and Mick roasted the peppers, and we chopped, and before we knew it, we'd put the chicken on at 4:30-ish, and we weren't eating until 7!  (I am not counting the 30 minutes in the oven as prep time.)

That being said, it was absolutely worth it.  And in the mix of the prep there certainly was down-time.  And Mick and I are both sick, so I'm sure our cloudy heads contributed to not being as efficient as we might have otherwise been.

Mick makes an amazingly delicious salsa, so he roasted our tomatoes along with the bell peppers for the recipe.  We couldn't find fresh serranos at Publix (I know, what the heck, huh?!) but did find canned ones, so although we'd normally roast them as well, we decided not to.  Our tiny bbq grill finally died yesterday, so he grilled the peppers on the stovetop with a grill pan.  Worked out fine.  As a chef's snack, he made salsa and we snacked on that while we did the rest of the cooking.

I boiled up the chicken with some salt, pepper and two bay leaves.  We do that a lot, when we don't know quite what we're going to use the chicken for, because it leaves it juicy and tasty, but not committed to any one kind of recipe.

While the peppers were steaming in the Ziploc bag after bring grilled (if you don't know, that helps the skin to peel right off later), I let the chicken cool, and Mick chopped the jalapeno, serranos, and one onion.

NOTE:   I am sorry to disappoint you, but I didn't take any step-by-step photos.  Our kitchen looked at this point like it was hit by a bomb, and I just wasn't feeling that hot, so I wasn't particularly motivated.  Sorry.  I sat on my barstool, drinking a Sam Summer, reading on my nook, and eating Salsa while Mick chopped. 

Okay, back to the story.

No, wait, another note:  First, despite all the serranos and the jalapeno, these are not spicy.  They have flavor, but they are by no means hot.  I would feel comfortable serving them to my parents, who think black pepper is too spicy.

And another note:  This recipe makes a LOT of food.  We used taco-size tortillas and ended up with 24 generously-stuffed enchiladas.  If you're cooking for a smaller group and don't want leftovers, you could easily half this.  Mick and I weren't feeling well and we may or may not have filled our bellies with chips and salsa so we didn't eat our usual portions, but even on a normal day, we could have halved this.  We'd have eaten it all with no leftovers, but we would NOT have been hungry!

Okay, really back to the story.

So, then it was a matter of cooking up the onion and jalapeno, adding the chicken broth and heavy cream and paprika, and half the peppers mix and just letting it simmer.  In another pan I made a simple roux, and then added the cheese and peppers and seasonings.

Now at this point, we had a problem.  We'd had corn tortillas in our fridge, so I didn't buy any yesterday, but Mick told me they were older than I realized.  So between being a little old, and being corn tortillas to begin with, even after we softened them in the microwave as the recipe called for, they still were a little brittle.

Not to worry.  We stuffed them -- they were the taco size, not burrito size, so we were able to fit 12 in a casserole dish, and we filled two casserole dishes, this recipe makes a LOT of food -- covered them with the cheese sauce and then topped them with a shredded monterey jack/colby mix and threw them in the oven for 30 minutes.  (The recipe says you'll have a cup leftover for topping, but I was generous with the cheese I put IN the enchiladas, so I just tore open a bag of Kraft shredded cheese and used almost all of it.  TOTALLY worth it, so if you're cooking along and like cheese as much as we do, you might want to have extra cheese on hand.)

Mmmm ... almost ready!

 DELICIOUS, even for this non-enchilada lover!  This really may be one of my favorite recipes so far.  A lot of work, but absolutely worth it.

Done!  I wish this was a better photo, sorry.


  1. Now I'm looking forward to these! But not as much as I'm looking forward to a great recipe for homemade salsa. Mick, please share!

    1. Oh, it's so easy! In fact, I'll make a post about it, just for you!