Nostalgic Chicken Enchiladas
Having been raised just north of the Mexican border, I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of ‘south of the border’ cuisine, like this chicken enchilada recipe. 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.
This 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 as I mentioned, I’m a little bit farther away.
Nostalgic Chicken Enchiladas
- 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
- Sprinkle green onion and garlic around 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!