I made these on New Year's Day. Normally, I would've eaten pork and sauerkraut. However, last year I made pork and sauerkraut and did not have a lucky year (at least not in terms of overall mood and athletics) so I chose to embark on a different path this year. I was stumped on what to make but Ron said "how about chicken enchiladas?"
It is a very, VERY rare occasion for Ron to actually suggest something for dinner. Normally the conversation goes like this:
Me - "What do you want for dinner tonight?"
Ron - "I don't care."
Me - "You have no suggestions?"
Ron - "I'll probably just have cereal."
Me - "We're out of milk. I guess I'll have to go to the store to buy you some."
Then, I go to the store and end up spending $50 for a carton of milk. But, usually I come away with enough ingredients to make something for dinner and he eats it. However, it's still a battle to get him to talk about what he wants. Considering I'm trying to experience new foods, this is often frustrating because I can only come up with so many "Ron-friendly" foods that I will also enjoy.
So, I was very excited to hear him make a suggestion and I was definitely not going to turn it down. Ironically, I had most of the ingredients for this recipe. The only thing I needed were the corn tortillas. Fortunately, the trip to the SuperTarget only cost me $12 (despite the corn tortillas costing $2). This was impressive and I am proud of myself.
I've never had enchiladas before. Anything smothered with cheese doesn't appeal to me. Then I realized that I could control the cheese portion. I'm not sure why these enchiladas are deemed "healthier" but I followed the recipe pretty closely. I did not use nearly as much cheese as included in the recipe, but they still turned out very good. I changed the way the chicken was prepared by cooking it over the stove and then shredding it. So, I did not cook my chicken in the sauce. They still turned out pretty flavorful. My only complaint was the Mission corn tortillas I used kept falling apart as I rolled them. Note to self: don't buy the "extra thin" kind.
Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
adapted from My Cooking Quest
Yield: 12 tortillas (if rolled appropriately), serves 6 but Ron ate 10, lol.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Kosher salt
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 28-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cooked over stove then shredded)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 10 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (or Taco cheese)
- 1 (4-ounce) can pickled jalapeno chiles, drained and chopped (or green chiles)
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (I did not use)
- 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil spray
- 1 lime, cut into wedges and sour cream (for serving) (I did not use)
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat oil over medium heat, add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt in a large saucepan.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onion has softened, eight to ten minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until the sauce has slightly thickened, about five minutes.
- **Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on the instant read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- I omitted step #7. I put 3 pieces of chicken breasts in a pot covered with water and cooked in boiling water for about 45 minutes. Once cooked, I shredded the chicken with two forks and went ahead with step #8. It worked well.
- Toss together the shredded chicken, ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, one cup of the cheddar, jalapenos, and cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 45 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface.
- Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla.
- Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13×9-inch baking dish.
- Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with vegetable oil spray.
- Pour one cup of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas to cover them thoroughly.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheddar over the enchiladas.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about five minutes longer.
- Place extra sauce, lime wedges and sour cream on table along with the hot enchiladas.