Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

There are few dishes that create an emotional experience with the activation of romantic hormones than chicken enchiladas. The smell of roasting tomatoes, melted cheese, the vibrancy of chiles is all it takes to make people want to skip the chips and dive in. If that happens to early you can blister your tongue and miss the madness of this dish.

This recipe looks complicated, but its really not. It only requires the combination of technique and a few unusual ingredients and you can create this meal for a small dinner party after work. Although it is called Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, the star of this dish is really Mexican crema – a slightly tangy thickened version of sour cream that finds its way somewhere in between the grocery store version in a tub and the French crème fraîche. Save some to use at the table. You won’t be disappointed.

One key point of my version is that I think these need to be made as individual servings. Although you don’t have to do this – and make them into a casserole – the tortillas lose their integrity and the pride that this dish warrants.

Sauce

1 24-oz can of petite dice tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped

oil for cooking

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup Mexican crema

12 corn tortillas

canola oil

2 cups of hand shredded or coursley chopped roasted chicken

2 cups of shredded Mexican melting cheese such as Chihuahuan or Oaxacan

pickled jalapeños for garnish

To make the sauce, sauté the onion in oil until soft but not caramelized. Combine the onion, tomatoes, and the jalapeño in a blender and process until smooth. Add the mixture back into a skillet with 2 tbs of hot oil and fry briefly until slightly thick around the edges. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 min. Then stir in the Mexican crema and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Using a pastry brush, paint the corn tortillas on both sides with canola oil and put them on a sheet pan in a hot oven for only a few minutes until soft. Spoon 1 1/2 tbs of sauce into 6 oven safe small gratin dishes. Combine the shredded chicken, 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, and about 1/3 cup of the sauce in a bowl and combine well. Spoon 2 to 3 tbs of this mixture into each tortilla and wrap tightly into a cylinder and place seam side down into the gratin dish. Repeat for all of the enchiladas placing two in each dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese and place in the hot oven. Cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly and just starting to brown. Place a pickled jalapeño or sprinkle with queso añejo on top for garnish. Serve immediately.

#enchilada #Mexican #crema

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Dan McCoy