These are a family favorite, but they have no claim to any regional authenticity. For one thing, I use flour rather than corn tortillas, and for another I load them with sauce, and to add further insult, they are also much bigger than usual since I use burrito-size tortillas.
For shortcuts you can use leftover chicken (or turkey) or buy a rotisserie chicken and chop it up. For the salsa you could use good jarred salsa. I use 2-cup packages of Mexican-blend grated cheese, but you can grate Cheddar (not sharp) or Monterey Jack. Be alerted that you will need a really big baking pan to get these big boys all in. I use my roasting pan. You could do it in two pans if you need to. Feeds eight normal people (or four Floyds)
For the filling:
8 Burrito-size flour tortillas
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 large chopped white onion
12 oz homemade or jarred salsa
1 cup of grated cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar, or Monterey jack)
Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin (cominos)
1Tbsp chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo (optional, makes it pretty hot)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with their juice
2 garlic gloves chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup grated cheese
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
chopped Romaine or Iceberg lettuce
To make the sauce:Make the sauce first, because it needs to cook down a bit.In a two-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and stir in the garlic and oregano for a few seconds being careful not to burn it.Add the chili powder and cumin and stir constantly for about a minute until you get a thick paste.Then slowly drizzle in the stock while stirring.You want to incorporate the other-ingredients into the stock.Stir in the tomatoes and the chipotles and bring the pot to a boil, then turn your heat down to get a good simmer.Let the sauce simmer and cook down while you assemble the enchiladas.It will not thicken too much, but don’t worry since it will spend another half hour in the oven.
To assemble the enchiladas:In a large mixing bowl mix chicken, onion, salsa, and 1 cup cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a large baking pan. Put a tortilla on a plate and fill with one-eighth of the filling, rolling each of them one at a time, and placing each of them into the baking pan with the seam side down to hold them together.
To cook.Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the remaining sauce on top of the enchiladas so that it moistens the tops of all the tortillas.Sprinkle 1 cup grated cheese over the top of the enchiladas, and put the pan uncovered into the oven for 30 minutes.Remove the enchiladas from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes.With a spatula put an enchilada on each plate, put chopped lettuce on either side of it, and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro.
(Photos: R.L. Floyd)