18 March 2013

Eats: buffalo chicken enchiladas

It’s no secret that Mr. P and I like our Mexican food around here. Next to Italian food, they’re probably the most numerous recipes on this blog; by now there’s probably a dozen casseroles using “Mexican blend cheese” alone. I’d even refer to that comedian’s joke about Taco Bell being the same five ingredients, fifty different ways... except I think I’ve made that joke before.

So what else is there to say about Mexican food? Not much... until you mix in buffalo sauce instead. Then it’s a whole other delicious ball game.

The inspiration recipe is here, where the author bills it as man food that goes well with a cold beer. I don’t really drink beer, and I barely paid attention to that whole basketball bracket business that happened yesterday... but I really, really liked this dish. You don’t have to be manly to love buffalo chicken enchiladas. And bonus! It comes together super quickly! Especially if you are drinking a ladylike gin and tonic while assembling.

Start with shredded chicken, however you may obtain that. Rotisserie’s definitely the way to go, if you have it. This particular night, I microwaved (YES MICROWAVED) two chicken breasts for three minutes, flipping/rotating every minute, then wrapping in foil and baking in the convection toaster oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Baked chicken in under thirty minutes!

Then you need to buffalo-ize that chicken. And enchilada...ize.

If you’re drinking gin... those are words.

I combined them in a measuring cup, because although I am fond of the “some” measurement when seasoning, I am strangely obsessive when it comes to dividing a mixture in half. The original source called for a third of a cup of buffalo sauce into a 15 oz can of enchilada sauce. However, I only had a 10-oz can of enchilada sauce, and yet a third-cup still didn’t really impart “buffalo” like I wanted. So I went with somewhere between a half-cup and two-thirds of a cup of buffalo sauce. But if you don’t like spicy, then cut back! (Actually, if you don’t like spicy... don’t make this.)

Anyway. I had 1-2/3 cup total. So, I mixed almost half – two-thirds of a cup – into the chicken.

I also added dried minced onion (because I couldn’t be bothered to buy green onion and chop it), salt and pepper (because the chicken wasn’t previously seasoned), and dried cilantro.

Oh, and CHEESE. Duh. Good old Mexican blend, reporting for duty!

I didn’t have enough mozzarella as called for in the source, and when has Mexican blend ever led me astray?

Now, finally: Enchilada time!

For these I used “medium” (to me, large – they’re over eight inches in diameter) flour tortillas, and I only used six of them to create giant, meaty enchiladas. You could, of course, decide to use smaller tortillas and make more enchiladas.

Once you’ve assembled all the enchiladas, prep the 8x8” pan, first with non-stick spray, then coated with quarter-cup of sauce. Then cram the enchiladas in there (seam side down, but you’re smart and already knew that) and top with the rest of the sauce and a handful of mozzarella cheese.

Then pop into a preheated 350-degree oven for twenty minutes (no need to cover with foil) until heated through. Turn on the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the torillas if you want, too!

And that’s it! They’re not particularly photogenic, but they sure are dang tasty.

I loved these, and apparently so did Mr. P, as he got to the leftovers first. It’s a nice twist on traditional enchiladas that come together super quickly, and the heat of the buffalo sauce is a nice way to fight these chilly not-quite-spring nights. Serve with a manly beer, a dainty cocktail, or most usefully... a tall glass of water. Hope you enjoy!


Janice said...

Tip for my favorite chef:
Cook more chicken than you need. If you have time to cook 2 chicken breasts, you have time to cook 6,8 or 10.
Leave them plain. You can then pull them out and wha-la, chicken ready to go into just about any dish you want: shredded Buffalo enchiladas, Shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches, chicken BBQ pizza, Chicken salad... you get the idea.

I get big bag of chickies at Sam's and will toss the entire bag on the grill. Cooking them all up plain or with a bit of Italian or Chiavetta's (vinegar based) marinade.Just something so they don't dry out on the grill. Then bingo, I have instantly ready chicken!

And there my favorite chef, is my tip of the day for you. Ok, make that the "tip of my life" cause I don't have many tips to share! ha ha