These are delicious - well worth the time! And they make great leftovers! Serve with rice and beans and lots of toppings.
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1.5 tbsp)
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and sliced into 1/4" strips
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
10 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 1/2 cups
10 6-inch flour tortillas
Make the filling:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken and coat thoroughly with spices, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat ot medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, 8 to 10 minutes.
Pour mixture into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl; press on the solids to extract as much sauce as possible. Set the strained sauce aside. Set the chicken mixture aside to cool. (Note; if making this all in one go, spread the chicken over a plate and freeze for 10 minutes.) When cool, combine the chicken with the cilantro and 2 cups of shredded cheddar.
Assembling the enchiladas:
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and pre-heat to 400°.
Smear the entire bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with 3/4 cup of the chili sauce; set aside. Drop a heaping 1/3 cup of filling on a tortilla, then roll into a tight cigar. Place crosswise in the baking dish seam-side down. Repeat with remaining filling and tortillas.
Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, using a spoon to spread it out so it coats each tortilla. Sprinkle the remaining cheese down the center of the enchiladas.
Spray the underside of a length of foil with vegetable oil spray, then cover the dish, oil-side down.
Bake the dish until heated through and cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Best International Recipes
- I always use more garlic :) Original recipe calls for 3 cloves.
- I am a spice wuss! Original recipe calls for 3 tbsp chili powder and 4 oz pickled jalapenos, chopped.
- I used Rao's Marinara - it felt a bit wierd, but tasted soooooo good!
- Next I tired Pomi Marinara Sauce, it came out way too watery.
- I used flour tortillas in place of corn tortillas. The original recipe called for warming the tortillas in the oven briefly; this supposedly made them more "waterproof" so as not to get soggy with the sauce, but I didn't mind at all.
- "Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and pre-heat to 300°. Spray both sides of the tortillas with vegetable oil spray. Spread 5 of the tortillas over a baking sheet and bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 2-4 minutes." Fill these tortillas, then repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Leftover filling makes a killer quesadilla!
- I bet you could make the filling and sauce, store, and assemble and bake later. Easy weeknight dinner incoming!