Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

Enchiladas: there are so many possible combinations of fillings and people are certainly vocal about their tortilla preferences. Last week I was asked to prepare Enchiladas for a client. I’m constantly trying to sneak vegetables into my own family’s meals and decided to make green chile, spinach, chicken enchiladas.  After posting a picture on Facebook, I’ve been asked for the recipe several times. Recipe recording is NOT my strength, as I tend to just add a little of this and a little of that while I’m in the kitchen cooking. This is a basic recipe to get you started. Feel free to add additional spices or ingredients, and by ALL means….use your tortilla of choice!

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas – serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs shredded cooked chicken (*see note below)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion (white, yellow, red or a mixture) finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • optional fresh jalapeno or habanero peppers
  • 1 to 2 lbs fresh spinach
  • 3 cups of sour cream
  • 2 (4 oz) cans of chopped green chiles or an 8 oz jar of green chile salsa
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 6 oz Jalapeno Jack or Monterey Jack Cheese (or a mixture of your favorite Mexican cheese blend)

**Note regarding chicken breasts: I usually buy skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts and poach them in a mixture of chicken broth, beer, onion & garlic. (The cooking liquid can be stored in your refrigerator for several days or in your freezer for up to a month and re-used for soup bases.) In a rush, a purchased rotisserie chicken can be shredded. My oldest son doesn’t like the texture of poached chicken, so when I’m cooking for my family, I chop up the chicken breasts and cook them in garlic, onion and jalapenos in a little bit of olive oil.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat the bottom of a large casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Saute onion, garlic and optional peppers in butter until tender.
  3. Steam the spinach in a steamer basket. Drain the spinach in a colander over a large bowl. Push down on the spinach to remove as much liquid as possible. RESERVE 1/2 cup of the liquid that comes out of the spinach as you are draining it. Once the spinach has cooled, coarsely chop the spinach.
  4. Combine onion, spinach, sour cream, chiles, cumin, reserved spinach liquid, and milk. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. (I often add a few dashes of hot sauce or additional fresh chopped jalapenos for more heat.)
  5. Combine half the sauce mixture and half the cheese with the shredded chicken and mix well.
  6. Soften tortillas if using corn tortillas. Flour tortillas don’t require softening.
  7. Roll tortillas filled with the chicken/sauce/cheese mixture. Place the rolled tortillas seam-side down in one layer in your casserole dish.
  8. Spread remaining sauce on top of rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes. Broil for 1-3 minutes, or until top begins to bubble and brown. (Watch closely once you turn on your broiler!)
  10. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting.

 

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