Monday, March 4, 2013

Chicken, potato, and roasted pepper enchiladas: short-cut version

Hello blogging world!  Here is my latest favorite, lightened up (and of course wheat-free) enchilada!

This recipe idea started earlier this week: we were running late for dinner and didn't have any meat defrosted, so decided to swing by the store and get one of those deliciously convenient rotisserie chickens, hot and ready to go. As we discussed what would accompany said chicken, I remembered we had anaheim chile peppers, onions, and red potatoes in the fridge.....and corn tortillas and cotija cheese are ALWAYS waiting in my fridge too. Thus, a new meal of chicken, potato, and roasted pepper enchiladas was born. YUM

The forthcoming recipe is the short-cut version. Later this weekend, I hope to experiment with a slower version (because let's be honest, slow food usually tastes much better....unless you're on Top Chef, which I'm so not there.....yet :))

1 onion, quartered
4 red potatoes cut into small wedges
Olive oil
3 Anaheim peppers
1 whole rotisserie chicken, meat removed from bone and shredded
Zest of one lemon
Hot sauce (like cholula)
1/4 c chicken broth
1T cumin
One dozen corn tortillas, warmed
Bottled tomatillo sauce, look in the Hispanic or international foods section
Jack cheese
Cotija cheese

Prepare filling:
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare potatoes and onion and place on cookie sheet, toss with scant olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast ~25 minutes or until potatoes are blistered and golden.

Roast whole chile peppers over open flame* (see note below for chile roasting how-to), remove skin and seeds, and chop roughly. Dump into medium-sized bowl and add shredded chicken. Use a micro plane if you have one and zest a lemon directly over chicken. Add a few shakes of Cholula (according to your taste) to the chicken and splash some chicken broth to make sure it doesn't dry out. (Hopefully you have a previously opened quart of broth in your fridge for purposes like this.) Finally, finish off with cumin, salt, and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Taste to make sure it's plenty flavorful; adjust seasoning as necessary.

If veggies are done, add just the onions to the chicken mixture. Set potatoes aside.

To assemble:

Reset oven to 400 degrees.

Warm tortillas between two kitchen towels in the microwave for 1 minute. (IMPORTANT, otherwise tortillas break while you roll them up!) While the tortillas are heating, spread a few tablespoons of warmed tomatillo sauce on bottom of 13x9 inch pan.

Keeping tortillas nice and warm between the towels, remove one at a time, place on your work surface, and spoon chicken in a line down center of tortilla. Adjust the amount depending on your tortilla sizes -you def don't want skinny enchiladas! Top with one roasted potato wedge (or two), roll tortilla up, and place seam side down in prepared dish. Continue until dish is packed with enchilada yumminess. Top with remaining tomatillo sauce, ensuring all exposed tortillas are bathed in sauce....otherwise, the non-bathed surfaces get super dried out.

Lastly, cover enchiladas with a healthy amount of jack cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is bubbly and golden like a pizza. Let cool for a few minutes.

To serve:
Carefully remove one or two enchiladas from pan and place on dinner plate. Top with sliced avocado, cilantro leaves, and cotija cheese. If you're feeling in the mood, pair with whole or retried beans that you: 1) already made (good for you), 2) heated from the can (convenient), or 3) purchased from your local taco shop (let's face it, sometimes it's better not to know how.much lard it takes to really make retried beans taste amazing).

And presto! You have a delicious "almost" made-from-scratch enchilada dinner. The chicken stays moist thanks to the broth, yet is packed with flavor thanks to the roasted peppers and veggies. The fresh toppings provide perfect balance..... and of course, the short-cut chicken and sauce make it doable for a weeknight. Yay for yummy dinner mid-week!

*How to properly roast fresh chile peppers:
I find they turn out best when roasted over an open flame. For this recipe, I use my gas range top since the oven is busy cooking the potatoes, but I usually prefer to roast peppers directly under my high heat broiler actually....or have SOMEONE do it out on the BBQ. Cook on one side until skin is black and blistered, then repeat on all sides till pepper is completely soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and place in plastic bag (I use a clean produce bag from grocery store) and tie in knot so heat doesn't escape. Let peppers sit and sweat for at least 15 minutes. Remove peppers from bag and use your fingers or a small paring knife to strip blistered skins off the peppers. Cut peppers lengthwise to remove seeds, then dice or chop as needed. Or leave in half and top burgers with them ...but that's a recipe for another day :)

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