Monday, November 24, 2014

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I have made a couple of enchilada recipes from Budget Bytes -- I love her homemade enchilada sauce, and the fillings are always hearty and satisfying.  This version might be my favorite one yet.  Shredded chicken is combined with black beans and corn, and then the filling mixed into super creamy tomato-cream cheese sauce.  Despite the longish list of ingredients, the filling comes together fairly quickly and then gets rolled inside tortillas.  The enchialadas are smothered in a homemade enchilada sauce -- it's way better than storebought sauce, and is easy to make with pantry ingredients.  Finally, I couldn't resist sprinkling a little cheese on top.  The result is gooey, cheesy, slightly spicy enchiladas that are total comfort food.  If you have leftovers, they keep well for lunch the next day.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (adapted from Budget Bytes, original recipe here)
Serves 4

For the sauce:
2 T vegetable oil
2 T flour
2 T chili powder
2 cups chicken broth or water
3 ounces tomato paste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 garlic powder
1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp salt

For the enchiladas:
15 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
4 ounce cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
Eight to ten 8-inch tortillas (I used tortillas that were made with a combination of corn and wheat flours)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Make the sauce.  Combine the oil, flour, and chili powder in a medium pot.  Turn the heat to medium, and whisk the ingredients to combine.  When the mixture begins to bubble, let it bubble, whisking constantly, for one minute -- the mixture will be very thick.
2.  Whisk in the chicken broth a bit at a time, and then add the tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, Aleppo or cayenne pepper, and salt.  Whisk until smooth, and bring to a simmer.  Once the mixture thickens slightly, taste and adjust for seasoning.  Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the diced tomatoes, garlic powder, and cumin and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the tomato liquid has thickened slightly.  Add the cream cheese and stir until it is melted and the mixture is combined.
5. Stir in the chicken, black beans, and corn.  Cook for a few minutes, until everything is heated through.
6. Spoon a thin layer of the sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
7. Scoop a heaping 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into a tortilla and roll it up.  Place in the baking dish.  Continue rolling the enchiladas until you have used up all your filling (you should get 8 to 10 enchiladas).
8. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas and spread it out evenly with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle with the cheese.
9. Bake for 25-40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the enchiladas are as crispy as you like them.  (I don't like mine very crispy, so I pulled them out on the sooner end, but do as you like!)

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