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
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat the bottom of a large casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Saute onion, garlic and optional peppers in butter until tender.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Combine half the sauce mixture and half the cheese with the shredded chicken and mix well.
- Soften tortillas if using corn tortillas. Flour tortillas don’t require softening.
- Roll tortillas filled with the chicken/sauce/cheese mixture. Place the rolled tortillas seam-side down in one layer in your casserole dish.
- Spread remaining sauce on top of rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- 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!)
- Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting.