Monday, October 25, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

These enchiladas remind me of my Arizona home. The sauce is not red enchilada sauce, rather a mixture of taco and tomato sauces. It's a delicious combination and a simple meal to throw together. Serve it up with this Spanish Rice and lots of sour cream and guacamole. You won't want to miss out on this favorite of ours!

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2-1/2 to 3 cups grated cheese (Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Cheddar all work great)
24 corn tortillas
1-2 cups vegetable oil
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 bottle La Victoria Red Taco Sauce (I know this is sold in Utah and Arizona. It is a tomato-based taco sauce, not a chunky salsa in any way. One bottle is 15 ounces, and I prefer the mild flavor.)

1. Boil chicken breasts with celery, carrots, and onion for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.
2. Take chicken out of broth and put on a plate to cool. Do not discard broth, reserve at least 2 cups of it for later.
3. While chicken is cooling, fill sauce pot up with 1 inch of oil and heat. Dip one corn tortilla in the oil at a time, softening it by submerging it for only a few seconds. You still want it pliable and definitely NOT crispy. Drain softened tortillas on paper towels.
4. In a medium bowl, mix the 2 cans of tomato sauce with the entire bottle of taco sauce. Combine well and set aside.
5. Begin shredding chicken into small pieces, getting rid of any fat, veins or gristle.
6. Put freshly shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl and combine with 2 cups of the grated cheese. Add 1 cup (or more) of the reserved broth to the chicken/cheese mixture and mix well. The mixture should be held together well but not soupy.
7. Preaheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
8. Spoon a little bit of chicken/cheese mixture into a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place it in the pan, edge down so the tortillas stay closed. Continue until the pan is full. If you have extra chicken/cheese, you can quickly make more tortillas or save it for tacos some other time!
9. Once the pan is full of enchiladas, pour the sauce over the tortillas, making sure to cover well.
10. Sprinkle remaining grated cheese over the enchiladas and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, cilantro and/or Spanish Rice for a complete meal.

This recipe can easily be halved, or you can make the full meal and freeze half of it before baking.

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