Saturday, June 22, 2013

Megan's Enchiladas!

Spicy, tangy, creamy, salsa verde; sweet, chili-spiced chicken; bubbly cheese. This is the ultimate comfort food.  These enchiladas are SO GODDAMN GOOD. 
This recipe comes courtesy of my friend Megan. She invented it and has been making it for years. These enchiladas are TO DIE for. They use a creamy chile-verde enchilada sauce, which plays perfectly against sweet, tomatoe-y chicken filling.
Meg and I met in high school and became friends through a shared love of cheap vodka, the Berrybender novels, stupid puns, skipping class to go swimming, and games of Who Would You Rather Bone? all through civics.
Then! Me, Meg, Claudia before prom. 2000
High school girlfriends back in Chico for my bachelorette. 2013
Meg is an AMAZING cook. She gets it from her mom and her Nana, who are both incredible, too.
I remember the day I first tasted Meg's enchiladas. We were all about 22.  It was the spring break of my first year of teaching, and I'd gone to California to visit my HS friends. I was teaching high school English in a tiny town at the bottom of Texas, and my friends were doing stuff like working at Hooters, finishing college, waiting tables at cool restaurants. Compared to them, I was already middle aged--we would leave the apartment at 11pm to go to a club--they would dance, and I would fall asleep with my head on a loudspeaker. All the Redbull and Vodkas in Southern California couldn't bring back my vanished youth.
So when Meg suggested a movie night, I was like "Fuck yes" We watched Harold and Maude and she made these enchiladas at her apartment in Long Beach.
They were the best enchiladas I'd ever had. I got her to email me the recipe and I've been making them ever since.

Here's the recipe:

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts are ok, but thighs taste better)
1 16 oz jar of salsa verde
2-3 jalapenos ( I used 2 and mine were really spicy)
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup sour cream
1 red onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves
20 tortillas  (I used multigrain flour tortillas. Corn tortillas work too)
2 chipotle peppers from a can
1 TBS Chipotle chile powder
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp all spice
3-4  TBS tomato paste
1 TBS honey
4-6 cups grated cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste.

What to Do: 
1.) Put chicken in pot of water with a dash of salt, a few garlic cloves, the chipotle peppers, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is just barely cooked. Don't cook too long or it will get dried out. Remove chicken to cool on plate. Reserve the water with the garlic and onions for later.

Chicken simmering.
2.) In a blender or food processor, blend salsa verde, jalapenos, cilantro, ranch and sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Creamy salsa verde enchilada sauce!
3.) Shred chicken with your fingers or a fork, if it's too hot. Dice the onion up.

4.) Heat oil in a skillet and add the the onion. Cook until soft. 2-4 minutes
5.) Add chicken, tomato paste, honey, and all of the spices, along with all the garlic and some of the water (1/2 cup?) reserved from the pot (this is to keep the chicken from drying out-- add more water if needed-- the chicken should not be too saucy either.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for only a few minutes. turn off heat.
Chicken filling
6.) Put a little bit of olive oil in large skillet. Heat to medium high and cook tortillas (get the oil on both sides-- just enough to coat lightly-- you should not be frying them in oil), until they are slightly golden. This will keep the tortillas from breaking when you dip them in the sauce and roll them. 
7.) Dip cooked tortillas in green sauce to coat. Roll with chicken and a little cheese (they should be fairly full), and place in a large baking dish (You will probably need at least two of these for all the enchiladas.) This part gets messy. 

8.) Top with any remaining sauce and cheese. 
Before baking.
9.) Cook in preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until cheese starts to brown on top.
Oh yeah

Sloppy and delicious
These are fabulous! Enjoy!

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