The Best Enchiladas Ever

These are amazing. Because they are so time consuming, this is a birthday dinner item. It is also the husband's favorite. That and fettuccine alfredo which is ultimately, the easiest dinner you can make. Also the most unhealthy (you know, more cream).

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Serves: 4

Sauce and Filling:

1 ½ tablespoons vegetable or corn oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)

3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

12 ounces chicken, cut into thin strips

2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)

½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

Tortillas and Toppings:

10 six-inch corn tortillas

Vegetable or corn oil cooking spray

3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)

¾ cup sour cream

1 avocado, diced

5 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and simmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and ¾ cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. TO ASSEMBLE: Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with ¾ cup chili sauce.
  4. Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes.
  5. Place warm tortillas on countertop. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla.
  6. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side-by-side, seam-side down.
  7. Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla.
  8. Sprinkle ¾ cup of grated cheese down the center of the enchiladas.
  9. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce and lime wedges separately.

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