Having been raised just north of the Mexican border, I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of ‘south of the border’ cuisine. Ingredients for authentic, Hispanic recipes are abundant in that region, but up here in the true north, maybe not so much. I’m just a little farther away now. Haha
So, what do I do to satisfy the craving? I just check out local specialty stores, use alternate local ingredients and grow my own goodies. Despite our fair city being known as “Winterpeg”, we can still grow some rather mouth-watering pepper varieties here. A shorter growing season with much longer daylight hours makes for some pretty spicy and juicy harvests.
Nostalgic Chicken Enchiladas is a recipe using local ingredients and a savory, homemade sauce. I will be posting the recipe for that soon. In the meantime, if you have store-bought sauce on hand, lucky you!! You may notice slight variations on the classic enchilada recipe but like I mentioned, I’m a little bit farther away.
- 6 boneless chicken thighs, cubed
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 oz fresh spinach (or frozen, thawed and drained), chopped
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 10-pack (6-8 inch) flour tortillas
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce (Or store-bought)
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C
- Coat a 9×14 baking dish with butter or cooking spray
- Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a dutch oven or large pot
- Raise heat to medium and add cubed chicken, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste
- Cook for 10 minutes or until a light golden colour and cooked through
- When done, set aside in a separate bowl
- Add remaining tbsp of butter to pot to melt
- Add green onion and garlic to pot, saute’ for 3 minutes or until edges begin to brown
- Add spinach and stir to combine (2-3 minutes for fresh. 5-6 minutes for frozen)
- When spinach is heated through, return the chicken to the pan, stir and allow the flavours to meld for about 2 minutes.
- Add ricotta cheese and sour cream. Allow these two ingredients to melt and thoroughly combine with other ingredients in the pot
- Add two-thirds of the shredded mozzarella to the pot, stir to combine.
- Once ingredients are melted and heated through remove the pot from the heat
- Soften tortillas ( with a little oil in a heated pan or put each one in the microwave for 20 seconds)
- Once heated, place each tortilla in coated baking dish and ladle a generous portion of chicken mixture into each one. Fold the ends of the tortilla together, around the chicken mixture, then turn it over so that the folded ends are underneath
- Pour the enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas, making sure to evenly cover
- Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top
- Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is slightly brown and sauce is bubbling.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
Due to the richness of these, a nice, light salad would be the perfect pairing to this dish. (Keep in mind that this recipe can easily be made without the chicken and be just as delicious.) Enjoy!