Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (which is in September), Cinco de Mayo (literally “Five of May”) celebrates the Mexican army’s unexpected and unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. My husband and I will probably head to the Mexican restaurant near our house, which we frequent almost once a week, usually splitting a giant quesadilla or burrito - or just gorging in their delicious house guacamole, chips, and salsa! In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here’s a recipe for homemade chicken and spinach enchiladas!



~1½ cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
~10oz chopped spinach (I used frozen, thawed and drained)
~¼ cup chopped onion
2-3 cloves minced garlic
Ground pepper, salt to taste
2 cups shredded Cheddar Jack cheese (or Colby Jack, or any Mexican-style blend)
~10 corn or flour tortillas (enchiladas traditionally call for corn tortillas, but I used flour tortillas)
For the sauce:
¼ cup canola oil
2 TBSP flour
Scant ¼ cup chili powder (the seasoning, not ground red chili)
1 8-oz can no salt added tomato sauce
~1½ cup water
Garlic powder
Ground cumin

To make the sauce:
In a saucepan over medium heat, brown the flour in oil. Add chili powder and toast for a couple minutes. Add water and tomato sauce and stir well. Season with garlic powder and cumin to taste.
To make the filling:
Saute spinach and onion in a pan over medium heat (you can use a little cooking oil if you like, but it is not necessary). Add chicken and season with garlic and pepper to taste.
Assembling & Baking:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Reserve 1 cup of shredded Cheddar Jack cheese.
Lay a tortilla flat and put about ½ cup of chicken-spinach mixture toward one side of the tortilla. Sprinkle a bit of the cheese (about ½ - 1 TBSP) over the filling, then roll up tightly and place in a baking dish lined with Aluminum foil. Repeat until all the filling is used up (I was able to use 10 tortillas).


Spoon enchilada sauce over the top and spread to cover everything evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese on top.


Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes until cheese is completely melted and a little crispy at the edges. Enjoy!


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