Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

While I believe that home cooking can be as fancy and elaborate as you can imagine, I am also a fan of quick one-pot dinner from time to time. After the whole weekend of traditional chinese new year food such as turnip cakes and sticky "nin go", we decided to stay at home one evening and did something totally different - the anti-CNY dinner so to speak.

Enchilada is one of the better known Tex-Mex dishes made of corn tortillas. What I did is probably a much simplified (and un-authentic) version as I don't have a good inventory of Mexican ingredients in my kitchen, but hey it tasted all right and is done in 30 minutes, which suits us well after all our busy Chinese New Year activities.

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients: (serves 6 - even though we finished the portion among 2 of us)
  • 3 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes - don't think about using the fresh ones, trust me on that
  • 3 red chili peppers - more as you wish
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 4 store-bought corn tortillas
  • 300g of cheeses - I used equal portion of cheddar and monterey jack. Grated.
  • 2 tablespoon of paprika
  • Salt, Pepper and Tabasco
1. Pre-heat oven to 225C

2. Cut onion and peppers into thin slices. Heat oil in frying pan, put onion and peppers into pan and fry until onion became soft and clear.

3. Put tomatoes into the pan, put half of the tomato juice from the can in. Stir and smash the tomatoes while the pan's heating, until it became a salsa-like texture. Mix with a few drops of tabasco sauce, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pour the salsa into a bowl and set aside.

4. Cut chicken thighs into thin strips, marinate with salt, pepper and paprika and sautéed in the frying pan with oil until well-cooked.

5. Cover corn tortillas with kitchen paper towel and heat in microwave for 20 seconds under high power.  If the tortillas were previously frozen/refrigerated, check the package to see what's the best way to soften them.

6. Put cooked chicken strips in the middle of each tortilla, put a handful of grated cheese in, roll the tortilla and lay it in a square baking dish with the opening in the bottom. Repeat the process 3 times, so you have the baking dish filled with 4 rolled tortillas.

7. Pour salsa on top of the tortillas and lay the rest of the grated cheese on top. Make sure all tortillas are covered with salsa and cheese.

8. Put the baking dish into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheeses melt.

You can serve it with a simple garden salad, baked beans (if you want to stick with the Mexican themes), a dash of sour cream or it's just as good on its own - think of it as lasagna with a spicy kick, just easier to make (and more delicious). And if you can't finish it, keep it in the fridge and give it a few minutes in the microwave, the leftover is just as good.

You can equally do it with anything other than chicken - try ground beef, turkey or even grilled peppers or mushrooms as a vegetarian dish. Or try breakfast enchiladas with scramble eggs and sausages.

Sorry for the lousy picture - I did the dish so fast that I even forgot to take any picture in the process. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

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