Traditional chicken enchiladas recipe

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A recipe for the famous Mexican dish, enchiladas. Enchiladas are made from flour or corn tortillas that are first fried, then stuffed with chicken, beef, cheese or other ingredients, topped with cheese and sometimes a tomato based sauce and finally baked in the oven. Whatever the variation, enchiladas are always among the favorite Mexican dishes. Served with Mexican fried rice and other condiments, enchiladas make a complete meal.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes, Serves: 4 



Ingredients

For the enchilada sauce
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes, pureed (use a blender to puree them)
1 - 2 Tbsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 to 1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 - 1 cup water

For the enchillada assembly
12 flour or corn tortillas (corn tortillas are preferred), 8 inches in diameter
Vegetable oil (preferably peanut or other high smoke point oil) for frying the tortillas

2-3 cups of cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
Salt to taste
2 cups grated mild cheddar, Monterrey Jack or similar cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Prepare the enchilada sauce
In a large skillet over medium heat add the oil and bring to a heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute more, stirring often. Add the chili powder, the oregano,  the sugar and the tomatoes, stir well, lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, adding water if needed, to keep the sauce from getting too dry. When the sauce is ready, put it in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Put in a bowl and set aside.

Make the chicken filling
In a bowl, add the shredded chicken, about 1/4 of the grated cheese and about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce. Season with salt to taste and set aside.

Prepare the tortillas
Dip the tortillas in the enchilada sauce making sure that both sides are covered. Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium to high heat. Put the tortilla in the skillet and heat until is starts to bubble. Using a metal spatula, flip the tortilla on the other side and heat. Remove the tortilla from the skillet, lay it on a plate and repeat the process with the remaning tortillas, adding some more vegetable oil if needed.

Assemble the enchiladas
Spread 1 - 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place it in a 8x12 inch baking dish. The baking dish should be large enough to hold the 12 tortillas (the tortillas should be about 1 inch in diameter whrn rolled up). Repeat the above process for the remaining tortillas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Place the enchilada dish in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubble and starts to turn slightly brown.

Garnish with coriander and serve with lettuce, sour cream, guacamole or your favorite Mexican salsa.
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