Baked chicken enchiladas are one of the best things on the face of the planet. Top of the line comfort food. My kryptonite.
Chicken, cream cheese, cheddar and fresh spinach gets tucked inside tortillas, rolled up and smothered in a spicy sour cream sauce then baked until molten hot and bubbly. It’s the cream cheese, once again, that makes them extra special. Along with the sour cream they help balance out the heat of the cayenne and green chiles in the sauce.
The sauce is made of chicken broth, Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chiles, chili powder, cayenne pepper and sour cream. You can reduce or omit the cayenne pepper completely for a less hot version.
I use flour tortillas to make these even though in my heart of hearts I know it’s wrong. Corn tortillas taste better and add texture but flour tortillas are more reliable. Corn tortillas are fussy, they tear and rip when you try to roll them and I don’t want you to go to all the trouble of making the filling and sauce only to have the tortillas fall apart on you.
If you ever find yourself with torn tortillas you can always make stacked enchiladas instead – layer the filling, cheese and tortillas like a lasagna.
Anywho. . . I bought a tortilla maker a few months ago and it’s still sitting in the box somewhere. I know. Boo on me. I can’t wait to show you all how to make them.
If you know of a good brand of corn tortillas, one that holds up well to rolling please let me know in the comments.
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 can (11 ounce) Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces bar cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups cooked chicken, cubed or cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 packed cups fresh baby spinach, stacked and cut into thin strips
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- butter, for greasing the pan
- 10 - 12 (8-inch) flour tortillas, at room temperature, not chilled
- sour cream
- diced fresh tomatoes
- hot sauce
- shredded lettuce
Make the Sauce:
Add the broth and Ro-tel to a blender and blend until fairly smooth. Pour it into a medium saucepan and add the chili pepper and cayenne, if using, with a couple good dashes salt and pepper.
Bring it up to a simmer. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Slowly whisk it into the broth and simmer 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the sour cream to a medium bowl and stir in a few ladles of the hot broth to temper it then whisk the entire thing into the broth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
Make the Filling:
Add the cream cheese to a large bowl with 1/2 cup of the warm broth. Stir until completely combined and smooth.
Add the chicken, 1 cup of the cheese, the spinach, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix until well combined.
Assemble the Enchiladas:
Preheat oven to 4oo degrees F. Butter a 9x13-inch casserole pan.
Working one at a time add about 1/3 cup of the filling to one edge of the tortilla and spread it out like a log. Roll up the tortilla and place it in the pan seam side down. Repeat until all the filling is used.
Pour the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese.
Bake 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes then serve with diced tomatoes and sour cream plus any other toppings you like.
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