Tuesday, September 20, 2011

chicken enchiladas with red chile sauce... 1 hour and 30 minutes

the goods:

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 pound)
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 soft flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low. Add onion, jalapeno, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water, and tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl, and set aside. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture along with 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro. Toss to combine.

Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll and lay seam-side down in baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce (you may not need all of it) evenly over top of tortillas. Top with remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 5-7 minutes, until cheese starts to brown.

Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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