Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Give Me Some Sauce Tuesday or Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas






 This is the whole enchilada. Well, not really. One could write a book with a recipe each day for a different enchilada. There are beef enchiladas and chicken enchiladas. Cheese enchiladas (my fave) and black bean enchiladas. New Mexican enchiladas, Tex-Mex enchiladas...  I have a recipe for a shitake enchilada that I can't wait to try. Cover them with red chile or green chile, mole or a suiza sauce and the list could go on forever. Just like Italian families have the family sauce recipe or the lasagne recipe, Mexican families have the enchilada recipe. And those are the Mexican families. It appears that enchiladas are different in Nicauragua and Guatemala and the Honduras. See what I mean? You could write a book on the variety of enchiladas and oh, now there's an idea... Then I could travel to each place to check them out, don't you know? You could all invite me in for your favorite enchilada meal. Wouldn't that be fun, FUN?

So today's recipe is New Mexican stacked enchiladas with red chile sauce.  I love New Mexico and haven't been there in so long. I miss you New Mexico; I really do. I love New Mexico in the fall when the air is crisp and it smells like roasting chilies. I love buying them fresh out of the roaster and slapping them into a homemade tortilla because there always seems to be a lady making fresh tortillas nearby. (And kind of way back when, that is how enchiladas got started. It appears one took whatever was available, like  little fish, and wrapped a tortilla around them.) I love seeing the colorful ristras



and GOD, don't even get me started on the art galleries. And Becca's boyfriend (he's the mandolin player that you can't see, which is too bad!) has a song on their new album, Western Branches, about New Mexico that is really good, and now I' m off on a tangent, but I do love New Mexico. (And no, this is not a paid announcement!)



Where was I?  OK, I know I'm cheating here because I've already given you the red chile recipe. Now go read it and that covers sauce Tuesday. (Hey, it's my blog and I can do what I want!) Becca and I made these and they were goodawesome, spectacular! Now the pictures may look good or not, so you will have to take my word for it, and as my father tends to say...all Mexican food looks alike so it doesn't matter what you order. Well, it does matter, Dad. And enchiladas are one of my favorites in a Mexican restaurant, unless I am feeling skinny, which means I can order a fried chimichanga or relleno. Hmmmm. That hasn't been in like centuries.

Enchilar means adding chile to... and this is what we did. The red sauce was almost mole like, but so much simpler. It is a rich red sauce because of the combination of chile powders used. That gives the sauce strength, notice I said strength, not spiciness. Red chile can go either way on the heat scale. Green chile often tends to be much hotter in my opinion. Now you could do your enchiladas Christmas style and serve them smothered with both red and green, but since green chilies haven't yet arrived in the markets, we stuck with red. 

Becca wanted chicken so I showed her my handy, dandy, simple as pie (who came up with that expression?) recipe. The smell coming out of the oven is intoxicating and if you aren't careful you may eat all the chicken before it gets to the enchilada. The rabbit catcher loves this recipe and I make it countless ways seasoned in whatever flavor I feel like. (Think Italian, please.) This chicken or beef  means he has lots to eat in the fridge. You can make it in big batches and freeze it in smaller portions, if you please. You can turn it into sloppy joe or add it to pasta or eat it on a sandwich. Add bbq sauce or make it into chicken salad.  Throw some on a salad and you have a full meal. Put it in tacos, or on quesadillas. Come on, help me out here.


The chicken!
This is a recipe without measurements! But I know you can do it. And you can switch it around with whatever seasonings you want. You will like this or else! If you have a family you can make a giant batch and have it for the week; school lunches, family dinners, snacks, etc. This is perfect for all!

One thing I found when making enchiladas is that they are not good made ahead and kept in the refrigerator. They get soggy, so bake them right away. Ours were broiled but if they were just cheese I would have baked them to get the cheese to melt. Enchiladas are made to be eaten right away! New Mexican enchiladas are stacked, not rolled, which I think makes them easier to assemble. It does help to have two sets of hands and Becca's worked great. Now one more thing about New Mexican enchiladas...they like to be topped with a fried egg. Rabbit catcher loves his fried eggs but I didn't do that with these. But don't forget this. They make a perfect meal more perfect. That is if you like fried eggs!

I think that's about it. My mind must be in New Mexico because I keep losing my train of thought. Some things just do that to you, don't they? Listen to the song. It stays with you. Just as these enchiladas do. They are good for making memories. And memories sustain me many days, even though the enchiladas taste like, WAY better! There is a saying in Mexico. "This is no enchilada", meaning this (whatever it is-like my life!) is not so simple. Well, enchiladas are simple and that's a good thing.






New Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile
(serves 6)

1 recipe of red chile sauce 

Red Chile sauce should be kept warm. I made this with chicken broth to give it more flavor. If it gets too thick, add more broth. Enchilada sauce should be on the thin side. Ancho chile powder gives the sauce the rich chocolate taste. That's a good thing, don't you know?

Baked Mexican Chicken Breasts or Thighs
I used 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts. This gave me leftovers of chicken that made the rabbit catcher happy. Some people prefer dark meat and say they give more flavor. They also doesn't dry out as fast. I'll leave this choice up to you!

Seasonings:
Garlic Powder, Salt, Cumin, Oregano, Chile Powder, Smoked Paprika
1 c pickled jalapenos and 1 c of pickling juice or fresh lime juice
Chicken broth or beer
Canned green chilies

I go easy on the cumin and paprika, but other than that...Lay your chicken in a 13x9 baking dish. Season well on both sides. The chicken should just be peeking through all those seasonings. Cover with some jalapenos and the green chilies. Pour jalapeno pickling juice and broth or beer around the chicken until it comes up about half the depth of the chicken. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. Let soak in liquid until cool enough to shred with your fingers. (No way around this, folks.) Shred chicken into the liquid. Let sit at least an hour until chicken has soaked up as much liquid as it can. Chicken can then be taken out and saved for enchiladas or other things. I keep it on the moist side, but not wet! If you have leftover liquid you can pour some of into your red chile to give it more flavor.  Just don't make it too thin.

I added a bit of grated cotija and finely chopped white onions to the shredded chicken and used that for my enchiladas. When I'm ready to make the enchiladas I heat this up in the microwave so that it's hot. Use about 1/3 c of this shredded chicken per layer.

18 Corn Tortillas for 6 servings
Mexican Crema (This is so good and different than American sour cream but that is OK, too. I also found out that I can buy other Central American varieties of crema at my local Mexican carniceria!)
Cotija or Feta Cheese Grated
Finely Chopped White Onion

Assembling Enchiladas:
Heat your red chile on low in a skillet. Take one corn tortilla and slide it through the  red chile (I use my fingers or you can use a spatula. Tongs tended to tear the tortilla.)  Place on a baking sheet. Cover this with 1/3 c of warmed chicken mixture. Top with another soaked tortilla. Add another 1/3 c of chicken. Top with one more soaked tortilla. Sprinkle with cotija. Assemble 5 more just like this and place under preheated broiler until cheese melts.

While cheese is melting, take out 6 plates and put a good spoonful of chile on each plate. When tortillas are done, place one stack on each plate. Top with another good spoon of red chile, dollop with crema, and sprinkle with minced onion. Put on some music and drift away.




Click here for a Few More:
Breakfast Burritos
Corn and Green Chile Quesadillas
Green Chile
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

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25 comments:

  1. Fun post! I definitely prefer to make stacked enchiladas too - much easier. Although when I'm feeding a crowd I kind of make layers in a casserole dish (lasagna style) and just cut into pieces when done (again, like a lasagna). I agree with you on New Mexico, BTW - Mrs K R and I thought seriously about moving there a few years ago! So pretty, and such great food.

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    1. I don't know why but your comments always take awhile to appear and I always look forward to them. We've contemplated moving, too. Love New Mexico and life seems so much simpler there. One never knows...What stopped you?

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  2. Oh, Abbe, my mouth is watering! I love enchiladas and now I want YOURS on my plate ASAP. They look terrific!

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    1. So was mine Liz, when I wrote this. Wishing I had more leftovers! Enjoy!

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  3. I adore enchiladas! Yours look scrumptious and beautiful. Wish mine would have turned out as great as yours.

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    1. Well, I'm not sure what yours were like Angie, but these are definitely the real deal! The sauce alone could kill you!

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  4. I really do love enchiladas and yours, Abbe, look and sound like the real deal. I would so enjoy a couple for dinner tomorrow. Is dinner at 6:00? :)

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    1. Oh John! You got it! How was your vacation?

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  5. your pics are making me hungry, this looks amazing!

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    1. Geez, Natalie, that must mean I'm getting better at photo taking so thanks for the compliment!

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  6. Gosh Abbe - you rock! These look amazing and your description is enticing to say the least. Your Dad's comment is so funny - but somewhat true! Yummy!

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    1. My Dad says that every time we walk into a Mexican restaurant which isn't very often! Does have some truth in it! These were very good enchiladas. Thanks!

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  7. Fantastic recipe! lovely ingredients and a super blog!! Very happy to follow you :)
    Mary x

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  8. That is so sweet Mary. I am so happy to have you as a follower!

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  9. Abbe, I think, I need to take a few cooking classes from you on Mexican food! I haven't tried much of Mexican, except a few popular ones. This recipe is mind-blowing! I loved the chicken version.

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    1. Any time, Purabi. I think you'd love Mexican because of all the spices. And the chicken is good ll by itself!

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  10. Oh man does this look good. And that's saying ALOT considering it's 7 am. I love good Mexican food, and this looks so rich and spicy. Pickled jalapenos? Yum, I have to go look for those.

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    1. Sue, you mean you don't have pickled jalapenos on your site? Look at Biz's site she has some. And thanks for reading and commenting! This makes a great breakfast with a fried egg!

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  11. Um, I think my dinner invitation got lost in the mail! Gah - I love Mexican food - hubs isn't that big of a fan, I on the other hand could eat it every.single.day and never get sick of it - I think cilantro is my favorite herb! (so glad it doesn't taste like dish soap to me!)

    I've been waiting for my library to get this cookbook - it looks really good!

    http://www.muybuenocookbook.com/

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    1. You're welcome any time! My hubby loves Mexican but he grew up in Tayxas! I love cilantro, too! And I've seen that cookbook. Got it at the library and it is good!

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  12. My dad absolutely loves enchiladas. These look great! I should totally make them for him!

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  13. Magic indeed! A delight for the senses

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  14. I love enchiladas, and yours sound amazing with that homemade sauce! Thanks for a great recipe :)

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