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No, not quite our wedding anniversary, yet.  It’s the one year anniversary of starting Hungry Hungry Hilary!  Well, yesterday was.  And to celebrate, I fixed one of my all-time favorite meals: Chicken enchiladas.  This is a Pioneer Woman recipe so of course, if you click the link, there are several beautifully done photographs of the whole recipe being prepared.  She is one of my favorite bloggers and she has wonderful recipes, but, I have to be honest: she’s a little stiff when you watch her show.  Has anyone else thought that?  She is so dynamic in her blog!  I expected more.

Chicken enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 16 large tortillas (I prefer flour)
  • 2 whole boneless, Skinless chicken breasts
  • Cumin, for sprinkling
  • Chili powder, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil (I like grape seed oil- it has a high cook point, is healthier than vegetable or calla, and doesn’t impart any other flavours)
  • 1 whole large onion, diced (Her blog shows her using a white onion- this time I used yellow and my audience loved it.  I honestly don’t think it matters)
  • 3 cans (15 Oz. Size) green enchilada sauce, or use red if preferred! (I always use red- Trader Joe’s comes in 12oz jars and 3 of these is plenty.  As my friend, Ciara, says, it’s much more appealing to see a red sauce.  And tastier, if you ask me!)
  • 4 cups grated cheddar and Monterey jack cheese (I like to use freshly grated, for this recipe)
  • Sour cream, salsa and cilantro for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  (I generally wait to to do this until the point where I start assembling the enchiladas.)

One at a time, hold tortillas over the stovetop burner (heated to medium heat) to brown slightly, about 30 seconds per side. Set warmed tortillas aside.  (You will want to turn on your oven fan and open a window for this step – otherwise, your fire alarm WILL go off.  And if it doesn’t, you might want to check the batteries.  I don’t typically need a full 30 seconds to achieve the charred look/taste.) *NOTE: I used to use corn tortillas and did this method.  I have since switched to flour and simply warm them in a nonstick skillet prior to rolling.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with the cumin and chili powder. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken on both sides until done in the middle, about 4-5 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Set it aside on a plate to cool, then shred it finely with a fork.  (I ended up needing 35 minutes to get these bad boys cooked through, turning every 5 minutes.  I think if I pound the chicken out first it would cook faster/more evenly.)

Throw the onions into the same skillet and stir them around to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until deep golden brown and caramelized. Remove them from the pan and set them aside on a plate. Pour in the enchilada sauce and reduce the heat to low, allowing it to warm through.

Pour 2 cups of sauce into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. To assemble the enchiladas, dip a tortilla into the sauce then lay on a sheet pan or plate. Sprinkle some cheese down the middle, followed by some chicken, and finally, some of the caramelized onions. Roll it up tightly, then place it, seam side down, in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinkle on the rest of the cheese (and onions!). Give it a final sprinkling of chili powder, then bake it for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly (mine needed a little less).

Remove it from the oven and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. Serve 2 enchiladas at a time, topping with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, and a sprinkling of cilantro.

The browned tortillas

The browned tortillas

My prep station

My prep station

Before oven

Before oven

Fresh out of the oven.  Smells so delicious!

Fresh out of the oven. Smells so delicious!

Chicken enchiladas

Satisfied customers, Ciara and Caroline

Satisfied customers

I had my sweet friends Ciara and Caroline over in order to thank them for taking care of our kitties while we were out of town.  I LOVE cooking for good, appreciative eaters!  Baby Matthews was also pleased – she really likes Mexican food!  (Oh yeah, we found out we’re having a GIRL!!)

Thank you to all of my readers for sticking with me over the past year, through thick and thin (aka meager writing) times!  I hope to continue posting even after we welcome our new baby in June/July, but if you notice a lull, it’s because I’m off being sleep deprived and overjoyed at our new addition 🙂

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