Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Light Chicken Enchiladas, from Gael

Light Chicken Enchiladas, from Gael

From America's Test Kitchen's Best Light Recipe cookbook. These are far from a diet food (!), but are lighter than regular enchiladas, thanks to white-meat chicken, light cheese, and the method of preparation.

Gael made them in March 2008 and she and Rob loved them. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa and refried beans on the side.

1 medium onion, chopped fine (I used a half onion, Rob doesn't care for onion)
1/2 t vegetable oil
2-3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 T chili powder
2 t cumin
2 t sugar
16 oz tomato sauce
1 c water
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz light cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz drained and chopped jalapenos (I bought sliced jarred ones, the little round slices, and chopped them)
12 6-inch corn tortillas (I used about 16)
vegetable oil spray (Pam)

Combine onion, oil and 1/2 t salt in large saucepan (I used my Dutch oven). Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until onion is soft (10 minutes).

Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar. Cook till fragrant (30 seconds).

Stir in tomato sauce and water, bring to simmer, cook till slightly thickened (5 minutes).

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and instant-read thermometer pushed into the thickest part reads 160. (Book says 10-12 minutes, I gave it closer to 20.)

Put chicken on plate, set aside (hide from cats!). Strain sauce through mesh strainer into bowl (keep sauce). Press on the onions to extract as much sauce as possible. Discard onion. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

About here is where I would preheat the oven, to 400.

Once chicken cools, shred it. (I sliced into small chunks but looking back, smaller chunks or shreds would have been even better.) Toss chicken with 1/2 c of enchilada sauce, 1 c cheddar, chopped jalapenos. (I was afraid that the jalapenos would be too much but they were perfect.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spray 9 x 13 pan with Pam.

Soften tortillas in microwave about 40-60 seconds. I did 6 at a time, then spread the 6 tortillas out on a cutting board to fill them. Place about 1/3 c filling evenly down center of tortillas. Roll up as tightly as you can. Place in pan, seamside down, tight up against each other. I found I had more filling than 12 tortillas could handle so I used about 4 more tortillas --the pan has room if you roll them tightly and nestle them together.

Very important: Lightly spray tops of the enchiladas with Pam. This is just enough to keep the tortillas from drying out in the oven.

Pour 1 cup of sauce (more if you like, but keep some sauce for serving) over enchiladas, coating them thoroughly. Sprinkle remaining 1 c cheese over them. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes covered. Then remove foil and bake another 5 or so minutes, until cheese browns.

Serve, with remaining sauce heated in a measuring cup to be poured on individual portions. Yummy!

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