Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ghost's Kitchen: Chicken Enchiladas

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Chicken Enchiladas

Hello everyone and welcome to another segment of...

I absolutely adore Mexican food.  It's probably one of the few types of foods that I could eat every single day and never become sick of it.  I love the flavors, spiciness, and how some dishes have most of your main food groups all in a single hand-held item.  It's great!  So, of course, when I decided to look around for ideas to increase my cooking "portfolio" I decided to go the route of Mexican food.  What I found was absolutely delicious!

Well...I should say what I found was largely bland the first time I created it.  The original author of this recipe never mentioned anything about adding flavors to the chicken and that was sorely needed!  Also I used too much cheese because I got confused due to the large number of steps it takes to make this dish.  However with a very tiny big of tweaking and using the right amount of cheese this has been permanently added to our rotation.

As I said this one is a long and more complicated one than a lot of my super easy ones.  Don't get overwhelmed just follow the steps closely and you'll be able to make this with ease!

Gather Your Ingredients
  • 1 container of chicken broth (approx 6 cups)
  • 3 medium (or 4 small) chicken breasts
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • 3 Cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 8 oz container of sour cream
  • 4.5 oz can of diced green chilies
  • large pot with cover
  • measuring cups
    • Preferably one 4-cup, one 2-cup, and one 1-cup as that will make life easier but if you don't have that just make do with the best you can and utilize bowls or something.
  • whisk
  • mixing bowl
  • hand mixer
    • You can also use 2 forks but prepare to be working for a long time that way.
  • mixing spoon
  • cooking spray
  • 9x13 glass pan
  • pan or skillet
1. Measure out your chicken broth
You will need 2 cups for the sauce that we will create much later.  Make sure you measure out 2 full cups and set it aside or in the fridge.  The rest should come close to 4 cups and will be used now to cook the chicken
Note - If you don't have a full set of measuring cups then just make do with what you can/have to do.  Just make sure you have 2 full cups of chicken broth set aside for use later and the rest can just stay in the carton or something.  You will also need to measure out 1 cup of cheese before using those 2 cups of broth so act accordingly.

2. Pour larger amount in pot
Pour the approximately 4 cups of chicken broth into the pot

3. Add 1/4th of the taco seasoning and whisk
Open your taco seasoning packet and pour about 1/4th of the packet into the broth.  Whisk it together until uniform.  This will allow for some of the flavors to soak into the chicken

4. Prepare raw chicken
Get your chicken together and cut away any unsavory pieces such as large portions of fat or bloody spots.

5. Cook Chicken
Place chicken in the broth.  Place lid on pot and turn the stove eye to medium high.  You will want to cook these breasts thoroughly which should take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. It personally took mine around 12 minutes to be fully cooked.

6. While chicken is cooking, get flour ready
Since you have 10-15 minutes of waiting around go ahead and get all of your ingredients you haven't yet used together if you haven't already done that.  It's also a good idea to measure out your 3 tablespoons of flour into a small bowl or some sort of container.  Trust me it'll make life easier later on.

7. Once chicken is fully cooked place into a mixing bowl.

8. Use your hand mixer to shred the chicken
I found this little tip online.  Generally people tell you to shred chicken by taking two forks and tearing at the chicken.  However if you use a hand mixer on a low setting it will give you the same result with FAR less effort.  It's pretty amazing. 

9. Add taco seasoning to chicken and mix
Add the remainder of your taco seasoning to the shredded chicken and mix it together until the seasoning coats the entirety of the chicken as uniform as possible

10. Measure out 1 cup of cheese, add to chicken, and mix

11. Spray all surfaces inside glass pan
You will want to make sure you use your cooking spray to put a light coat on every inside surface of the glass pan so that nothing sticks anywhere

12. Fill tortillas
You will want to spoon out (or just use your hands like I did) a small amount of the chicken and cheese mixture into a tortilla.  You will want to do somewhere around the amount shown below or slightly less.  Any more and you will end up running out before filling all of the tortillas

13. Roll tortilla and place in pan
Roll up your tortilla as best you can and place it into the pan with the end pointing down so that it does not open once again

14. Fill and roll the other 9 tortillas

15. Preheat oven to 350°F
Now would be a good time to preheat your oven as it should be ready by the time we get done with the sauce.

16. Melt butter
Place your 3 tablespoons of butter into a pan on medium heat till melted

17. Add flour
At this point you will want to add the flour to your butter.

18. Whisk flour and butter together for 1 minute
This is the weird part.  The flour and butter will act as a thickening agent for the chicken broth but getting it to the point that it will work honestly looks like you've made a massive mistake.  It should just sort of be this nasty looking texture below.  No you haven't done it wrong...it's supposed to look like that.  After about 1 minute yours should look like it does below.

19. Add 2 cups chicken broth to pan
This is the chicken broth I had you set aside at the beginning of this process.

20.  Whisk till uniform and cook till gravy-like
You will want to whisk until there are absolutely no clumps left in the broth.  You will want to let it sit there whisking occasionally for a good 5-7 minutes.  At that point it will start to become thick and have the consistency of turkey gravy.  It should start bubbling lightly once it has reached this point.
You can kind of see the bubbles forming...sorta

21. Let it cool for 3 minutes
Take your sauce off the hot eye and turn the eye off.  You will want to let the sauce cool before moving on as we are about to add the sour cream and you don't want it to curdle.

22. Add the can of chilies and whisk mixture together

23. Add the sour cream and whisk the mixture together till uniform.

24. Pour over tortillas
You will want to be careful and pour the mixture over the entirety of the tortillas.  Please go slow so you don't end up with one side/end having more sauce than the other.

25. Top with 2 cups cheese
Your remaining 2 cups of cheese should be spread evenly along the top

26. Bake for 20-22 minutes

27. Broil for 3 minutes
There's probably not many times you will end up using the broil feature of your oven, but this is one as you will want to brown the cheese.  Turn your oven to broil on high for 3 minutes ONLY.  Any longer may result in burnt tortillas.

28. Remove from oven promptly

29. Serve and enjoy
NOTE: I added some Mexican Rice as a side item to this dish.  Just simply buy one of the packets from the store and follow the directions there.  Super simple.

I'll be honest, this dish is a little bit more involved and tedious than most that I have featured on here but it's totally worth the effort.  This particular variety is definitely on the mild side as my wife simply cannot handle any sort of spicy heat.  She even finds things "too hot" that have no heat in them whatsoever so this is about as much heat as she can enjoy.  If you want to up the spice factor some then buy the hot taco seasoning, add some of your own spices to the chicken, or substitute the green chilies for diced jalapenos.  Never be too afraid to experiment a little as that's the only way you'll grow not only in the kitchen but in life.

This is Ghost fading into the darkness.
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If you want to see my other food topics and recipes then simply click here!

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