Wednesday, May 19, 2010

easy prep ahead chicken enchiladas

I came across this recipe about 10 years ago and since then have passed it on countless times.  We once hosted a Mexican themed party where we served these as the main dish. One of the guests said it best, "When I order enchiladas in a restaurant I want them to taste like this." I couldn't agree more!  I actually don't order enchiladas in a restaurant anymore because I am usually disappointed after comparing them to this recipe.

The whole recipe takes about 15 minutes to assemble.  I usually put it together the night before and then bake it about 40 minutes before I want to serve it.  It calls for cooked shredded chicken.  I usually buy one of those pre-cooked, all natural rotisserie chickens at our local market and cut the chicken up into small pieces.

for filling:
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut up
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup salsa (If you prefer the filling to be less creamy add about 1/4 cup more salsa. I use Natures Promise Organic brand)
1/2 of an 8 oz block of cream cheese (I use the reduced fat one)

For assembly:
1 pack small flour  tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheddar for topping
1 jar salsa (16 oz) for topping and tortilla dredging

1.  Add all ingredients for filling in a skillet and cook until the cheeses are melted and all ingredients are combined. (about 5 minutes or less).
2.  Pour 1/2 jar of salsa on a piece of tinfoil, coat both sides of a flour tortilla with a little salsa (almost like you are painting each tortilla) and spoon a scant amount (about 1/3 cup) of chicken mixture onto tortilla.  Roll up and place in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish.
3.  Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.  You will end up with 8-10 enchiladas.
4.  Use the remaining 1/2 jar of salsa to drizzle over enchiladas in pan.  Sprinkle them with the 1/2 cup cheese.
5.  At this point you could either cover them with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or bake them at 350 degrees, uncovered for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.

Prep Ahead:  Make the filling and prepare the enchiladas the night before.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  Easy entertaining recipe!

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