Friday, June 1, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

This is a recipe I learned about 7 years ago back in high school, but it has to be one of my very favorite dishes to make.  It's so delicious!  I've made it for a lot of friends, neighbors, and family.  Almost everyone that I make it for asks for the recipe, so I thought I'd share it with all of you.
Before I begin though, let me make you aware that not all measurements are exact.  You kind of just have to use your best judgement in deciding the consistency you like for your enchiladas.
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
  • about 1/2 lb pepper jack cheese, grated 
  • 8 oz fat free cream cheese
  • about 1 1/2 cups green chile enchilada sauce (I usually use medium for a little extra kick, but if you don't prefer spicy things, or maybe have kids, I'd go with mild)
  • 10-12 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
  • 1-2 cubes (depending on size) chicken bouillon (optional)
First, boil all the chicken with the chicken bouillon.  If you don't have bouillon don't worry.  A lot of times I don't use it and I really can not tell a difference.  Though, if I have it on hand and remember, I'll usually throw in a cube or two. 
While chicken is cooking start cooking rice, and preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.   Rice is not in the original recipe but a year or so ago my husband and i decided to start adding it.  It just makes the recipe go a lot further, and rice is cheap so we've been doing it ever since!
After chicken is cooked, shred and place in large bowl.
 Next, add cream cheese, a couple handfuls of pepper jack cheese, and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup enchilada sauce.
 Mix ingredients together.  I use my kitchen aid with the hook attachment because it makes it so much easier, but before I had a kitchen aid I just used my hands.  Don't worry about getting messy, you will be messy by the end of this-especially if you cook like me :)
After chicken, sauce, and cheeses are mixed thoroughly, add in rice.  Mix again.
Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce in baking dish.  Just enough to coat the bottom so the enchiladas don't stick--though almost every time I make these they stick a little to the dish anyway.
 I usually bake 10-12 enchiladas in a 9"X13" oven safe baking dish.
 Pour more sauce on a plate.  Coat tortilla on both sides with sauce, then add chicken mixture.  Roll up tortilla and place in baking dish.
 Top enchiladas with sauce and pepper jack cheese.  Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Enchiladas are done when cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.  I like my enchiladas to be a little bit crispy, so I bake them until cheese starts to lightly brown.
Tips for good enchiladas:
  • Don't crowd enchiladas in pan
  • Don't underbake-nothing like taking a bite of something that is cold inside.
  • If you plan to have leftovers, make sure to eat them in a day or two.  They tend to go soggy fairly quick.  If I know I'm making more than we'll eat I just bake what we'll eat that night, then prepare the rest, cover, and put in the fridge to bake later in the week.
For a healthier variation, you can:
  • Prepare with brown rice, instead of white
  • Use whole wheat tortillas
  • Cut back on the cheese.  I  tend to use maybe a little more cheese than necessary, because it's just so yummy! :)
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