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Green Chile Enchiladas with Chicken

I chose to cheat and do a lazy style enchilada; I made mine into a casserole as opposed to rolling all those little buggers up (hey, it’s New Years Day, don’t judge).  The chicken in the enchiladas is flavored with a spice called Achiote with Cilantro and Annato by Goya.

This can be found in most Latin sections of the grocery store. If you cannot find it, don’t worry, the chicken tastes just as tasty.  Also, if you want to cheat, use a store bought rotisserie.  This dish sounds a little overwhelming with all of the ingredients but it is quite easy, especially if you cheat.  Save the leftover cooking broth from the chicken and use it to make an arroz con pollo or just some amazing rice (use it as the cooking liquid).

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 achiote packet
  • Handful cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion – 1/2 quartered and 1/2 sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for tortillas
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 28-ounce can green (or red) enchilada sauce
  • Sour cream for serving (optional)
Directions:
1.)  In a large deep skillet (or large soup pot), heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.  Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Sear both sides of the breasts until golden brown.  Add the onion quarters, garlic cloves, chicken stock, achiote packet, and cilantro.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Let chicken cook for 20 minutes until cooked through.

2.)  Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate.  DO NOT DISCARD BROTH! When chicken is cooled shred into pieces with a fork and add to a large mixing bowl.
3.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drizzle a layer of vegetable oil on a baking sheet and spread around with your fingers to cover the sheet.  Add a layer of tortillas. Drizzle a bit more vegetable oil over tortillas and spread again with your fingers.  Repeat with oil and tortillas until all the tortillas have been used.  Bake for 5 minutes until softened.  Set aside until ready to use.
4.)  Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Salt the water and add potatoes.  Cook over medium heat until fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.  Drain potatoes and let cook slightly.  Add to large mixing bowl with chicken.
5.)  In another skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Add onion slices, season with salt and pepper, and cook stirring frequently until browned and slightly caramelized for about 7 minutes.  Pour onions into large mixing bowl with potato chicken mixture.  In same skillet, add spinach leaves, season with salt and pepper and saute until slightly wilted, about 3 minutes.  Pour spinach into large mixing bowl with potato chicken onion mixture.
6.)  Add 3/4 cup of the chile sauce and 1 cup of the cheese to the mixing bowl.  Season the entire mixture with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
7.)  In a large rectangular baking pan, add a 1/4 cup of the remaining enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan.  Layer 6 tortillas on the bottom, a layer of the enchilada filling, a handful of cheese and a drizzle of more enchilada sauce.  Repeat with layers finishing with tortillas on top and pouring the remaining enchilada sauce over top.
8.)  Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove and add a last layer of cheese to the top and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.  Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
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