Lately, it seems like I rarely have a day where nothing is planned. Even days where there is no real work; shoots, site maintenance, etc., there is always something that has to be done, so the days that are the most memorable to me are the ones where my Google Calendar is blank and things just happen; like an impromptu day at the beach or a day trip to go shooting somewhere I haven’t been or even just spending the day in my PJs watching movies. These are the days that stand out.
A few days ago, I had some down time and was really in the mood for enchiladas. These are perfect for this time of year because all you have to do is stick them in the oven when you are ready. There is little clean-up and you can enjoy being with family and friends, instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Just add some sautéed peppers and onions and you’re golden.
Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas
3 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
Canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Heat up the chicken broth and the chili powder in a small saucepan and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 of the onion and all of the garlic; cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Transfer the onion, garlic, and 1/2-1 cup of the chicken broth to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook until smooth (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the broth/onion mixture while whisking. Add the remaining broth while continuing to whisk. Add the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, while stirring, until the sauce thickens (about 30 minutes). Keep the sauce warm.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small skillet, add enough oil to cover 1/2”. Heat over medium heat. Add one tortilla, letting it fry for about 5 seconds on one side, then flip over and do the same on the other side. Transfer the tortilla to paper towels to drain. Do the same for the rest of the tortillas.
Take a tortilla and dip it into the sauce, letting the excess drain back into the pan. After dipping, put it on a plate and add a small amount of cheese and chicken to the center. Tightly roll the tortilla around the cheese and the chicken and transfer to a 9″x13″ baking dish, seam side down. Continue with each tortilla. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and onions. Bake until the cheese melts and the enchiladas are hot. If you are baking them right away this will only take about 10 minutes. Finishing them off from the refrigerator will take about 20-30 minutes.