Each family has one, that recipe every family member loves, and I mean ALL. In my family, well we are foodies so we probably love too many recipes, but it would definitely be dolmathes (grapeleaves). Take a moment think about it, I promise you every family has that one dish they all look forward to eating. That one dish that takes you back to your childhood or family gathers. In Lynden’s family, aside from ranch, that recipe is Chicken Enchiladas.
When Lynden and I first began dating, like any new girlfriend would, I wanted to cook him a nice meal. After learning that chicken enchiladas were his favorite meal I became intrigued. I know, I know, chicken enchiladas are not foreign (well at least not in the southwest), but to me they were. We have always been a strictly a beef and cheese enchilada family.
For months, yes months, I searched for chicken enchilada recipes. With each new one I presented to Lynden I continued to hear, “yeah that is not it”. Eventually I gave up. If he wanted chicken enchiladas his sister would just have to make them. Then after a year of dating him, someone (his mom) in his family FINALLY introduced me to Chicken Enchiladas.
Ileen (Lynden’s mom) invited us over to her house for dinner. Naturally Lynden asked her to make the chicken enchiladas. He also asked her to let us watch because I wanted to learn to make them. Writing this now I can only imagine Ileen’s confusion, especially give the simplicity of this dish. Fast forward 7 years later and not only am I a pro at Chicken Enchiladas, but it has also become one of those recipes my family also loves!
If all the ingredients are on had this could easily be a quick weekend dinner. The first step is to shred or dice cooked chicken. I always use boiled chicken, which is what Lynden’s family uses. There are however several alternatives to plain boiled chicken. My sister (see we now love it too!) uses chicken she cooks in the crockpot with the sauce for the enchiladas. This last time I made it I used chicken from my homemade chicken broth recipe. Seriously the options are endless.
Once the chicken is shredded, prepare the sauce by mixing salsa verde, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream. If you would like also add extra green chiles. Personally I love them but Lynden does not, therefore, depending on the crowd I may or may not add them. Combine all the above ingredients and stir until the mixture is creamy.
Next it is time to assemble. Spread a spoonful on to either a flour or corn (we use flour) tortilla. Add the shredded chicken and shredded cheese to the center of the tortilla and roll it like a burrito.
Once all enchiladas are assembled and placed in your casserole dish (hint make sure to spray with cooking oil and to add sauce to the bottom. This will make clean up easier) spread the sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Finally, the last step before baking is to cover with cheese. Sadly, I had to use the pre-shredded cheese on the top. Do not get me wrong, I am not against using the pre-shredded, however I prefer to shred my own. Although it’s extra work it tastes fresher and is creamier. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and cook for 25 to 30 mins. After the required time I always remove the foil to let the cheese broil slightly.
Once completed enjoy and do not be like me and forget to share a photo of the finished product with your family. Seriously, we were so hungry at our house it slipped my mind. On an ending note, these are also great for freezing meals. Next time we reheat these “frozen” chicken enchiladas I will update the photo!