Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

There was a time when I was working full-time that I was limited to having friends over for dinner.  Most of those dinners happened during a weekend.  Now that I’m semi-retired one of my favorite things to do is to have friends over for a casual lunch.  This week I invited a special friend to the house during her lunch break.   My friend Debbie enjoys Mexican food.  She’s not afraid of spice, prefers flour tortillas over corn and loves avocado.  Keeping her preferences in mind I settled on making enchiladas with an avocado, tomato and corn salad.  Since I had just made red velvet cupcakes, we enjoyed those for dessert.  You can’t go wrong cooking for those you care about.

Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

Makes:  12  8 inch enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 6  ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/3  cup sour cream
  • 2  cups of bottle salsa (total)
  • 2  chipotle chili peppers, finely diced
  • 1  cup manchego cheese, grated (total)
  • 2  cups sharp cheddar, grated (total)
  • 4  cups shredded cooked chicken (from one whole roasted hen)
  • 1  cup corn (fresh or use frozen that’s been thawed)
  • 2  teaspoons cajun spice blend
  • 1  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12  8 inch flour or corn tortillas
  • 1/4  cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 1/4  cup scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup of Chipotle Cream*

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup of salsa and chipotle chili peppers. Whisk together until combined.
  3. Add in 1/2 cup manchego cheese and 1 cup of sharp cheddar.  Stir with wooden spoon.
  4. In separate bowl combine shredded cooked chicken, corn, cajun spice, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Dump chicken mixture into cream cheese mixture.  Stir with sturdy spoon until thoroughly combined.
  6. In 9 x 13 baking pan/casserole dish, pour 1/2 cup of salsa to cover the bottom.
  7. Lay tortilla flat and spoon about 1/2 cup of filling on bottom third, rolling tightly.  Place in baking pan seam side down.  Repeat process until your pan is full.  You may need a second pan or casserole dish if you need more room or select a very large baking pan.
  8. Pour one cup of salsa over the top of enchiladas.
  9. Sprinkle remaining manchego and sharp cheddar cheese over top.
  10. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  11. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.
  12. Remove pan from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
  13. Top with cilantro, scallions and chipotle cream as desired.

*Chipotle Cream:  Whisk together 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons milk and 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce from canned chipotle chili peppers.  Place in squirt bottle or simply spoon over cooked enchiladas before serving.

Tips:

  • This recipe is wonderful for assembling ahead and freezing.  Wait to add the remaining cheese to the top for the day you actually bake the dish.  Pull from the freezer and let thaw most of the way before baking.
  • You can substitute your favorite cheese for the sharp cheddar or manchego, which is what I like.
  • If you like a lot of spice, increase the amount of chopped chipotle peppers in your mixture.
  • This recipe makes a lot…perfect for feeding a large group.  For a small group you could halve the recipe quite easily.
  • I only used meat from whole roasted chickens in this recipe. You can find them pre-cooked in the deli section of most grocery stores. What I don’t like is that they cost almost double what a 3 or 4 pound fresh roasting hen does.  So every now and then I’ll roast up a couple of hens (takes about 90 minutes in the oven) pull up a show or movie on Netflix and let them do their thing.  After cooking I let them cool.  Remove the skin and then pull off the meat and put the shredded chicken in a zip top baggie.  I can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it to use within a month.
Just a couple of hens I roasted in the oven. All I did was sprinkle with salt and pepper, rubbed them with olive oil, then roasted at 325 for 90 minutes. Quick and easy.
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