As you can tell, if you have followed this site and my recipes for very long, I love spicy foods. My favorite ethnic food is probably Italian, but I would have to say Mexican is a close second. The city I live in has grown a lot over the last twenty five years or so and even though it's still just a midsized southern city, we do have a large Hispanic population and a lot of restaurants that offer some really good Mexican cuisine.
I like to try to recreate some of their dishes at home and I have even been known to ask some of the Hispanic ladies about various ingredients at the local WalMart or grocery store. The funny part is that many of these folks do not speak much English and my 2 years of high school Spanish and 1 semester of college Spanish is pretty much long forgotten, so it can be difficult to communicate at times.
One day, at the cheese case, I was pondering over which white Mexican melting cheese to buy to make queso dip, because mine just never tasted like the kind you get in the restaurants, and there was a family there buying some cheese also. I watched what they picked up and I just asked them if what I had was good. They looked at me blankly, so I picked two kinds and said this one or this one? It was instant understanding. The older woman took both of them and put them back on the shelf and then picked out two completely different things and put them in my cart. She was talking the whole time and the younger girls with her were just smiling. I thanked her with my best gracias...I did remember that much and we parted. My husband had been waiting by the freezer across the way for me, watching and wondering what was wrong with me. He said, I now know there is not anyone you won't try to start a conversation with about food (or anything else really) and succeed...even those who do no speak a word of English. I now know the right Mexican cheese to buy though. I like to go to the source of the best, authentic information.
These chicken enchiladas are one of the dishes I use one of those cheeses in and it makes them so creamy and good. The rest of the recipe is adapted from a recipe my sister makes and gets rave reviews on from her family and friends. I did use the chicken that I made for the Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos , but you can also just roast some chicken breasts seasoned with some taco seasoning.
Here is what you will need for these yummy enchiladas.
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken seasoned with taco seasoning (3-4 breasts work for this)
6 large flour tortillas (10 inch)
3 cups white shredded Mexican melting cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese (If you like spicier dishes you can use Pepper Jack Cheese)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 cups half and half cream
8 oz. sour cream
1 (4.5 oz) can of green chillies
1/2 tsp. hot sauce (I used Tabasco sauce, increase if you like more spice)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with nonstick spray.
Divide the chicken evenly between the six flour tortillas and sprinkle with the white cheese, reserving 1 cup for the top of the dish.
I used the slow cooker chicken that I prepared for chicken tacos. If you bake your chicken or use a rotisserie chicken you may want to add some taco seasoning to it for flavor. Just mix in about 1 - 2 Tbs. with the chicken or sprinkle the breasts with it before baking.
Divide the chicken between the tortillas and sprinkle with some of the white cheese. Roll them all up and line them up in the baking dish side by side.
This is the white cheese I used, if you can get it, it's really good, but you can use Monterrey Jack or even Pepper Jack for a little more heat.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the flour, cook for a few minutes. Add the half and half, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. Whisk until it bubbles and thickens. Turn heat off and add hot sauce and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add green chillies.
Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the reserved cup of white cheese and the 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
Uncover and bake for about 10 more minutes or until the cheese is just starting to brown.
Sprinkle with cilantro and salsa or pico de gallo and serve with rice and or refried beans.