Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cheesy Chicken enCHiladas

Derek's Dad is well known for his post-Thanksgiving turkey leftovers enchiladas.  These have been a long time Ehrman favorite, and tonight we put a new spin on a classic treat.  The key here is cheese.  Lots of cheese.  We make a standard Béchamel sauce with cheese, onions and peppers mixed in (a Béchamel with cheese is also known as a Mornay sauce).  This is then combined with chicken chunks (we used the leftovers from a chicken cooked whole) and wrapped in tortillas and baked until golden brown.
- olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chipotle pepper (or plain old pepper will do)
- 1 1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice
- salt to taste
- 1 cup pepper of your choice, diced (jalapeño, green chiles, bell, whatever you like)
- 3 bunches tatsoi (can also use spinach or any other greens that wilt nicely), chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken cooked, chopped or shredded
- 10 to 12 small corn tortillas (or 5-6 large)

-> Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat liberal amount of olive oil (at least enough to cover the bottom of a 10" frying pan) over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent.  Gradually whisk flour into oil-onion mixture, making a rue.  Allow the rue to cook until a slightly nutty brown color, whisking constantly.  Whisk in milk and cook over very low heat until thick and bubbly.  Whisk in one cup of the cheese.  Add cumin, pepper, and season to taste with salt.  Mix in peppers, tatsoi, and chicken and heat until warmed through and greens have wilted.  Put aside about 1/2 cup of the mixture.  Fill tortillas with remaining mixture and place in large baking dish.  Pour the reserved 1/2 cup mixture on top of the tortillas, cover with 1/2 cup of cheese and bake until golden brown.
~*TIP - If you, like us, used the trimmings from a previously cooked chicken, be sure to put those bones to good use! Boil chicken leftovers (bones, skin, everything!) with your saved onion, garlic, and carrot peels (lots of other choices too!!) for approximately 1 hour for a rich and multi-functional chicken broth.*~

Feeds 3 - 4

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