Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Can The Canned Enchilada Sauce

I smoked a pair of chickens on the Big Green Egg this weekend to use for dinners this week. During the fall/winter, I find that I do a lot more of "batch cooking" on Sundays where I cook a lot of food for the rest of the week.

I won't repeat the whole detailed process but it's my standard smoked chicken technique. For my fellow BBQthusiasts, I used a mix of cherry and hickory chunks and smoked them for a little over 3 hours at 250f until they hit 180f in the thighs.

So far we have used them to make
  • chicken salad for lunch yesterday
  • chicken alfredo for dinner last night,
  • and tonight's enchiladas
You could use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe but I find that the smoked chicken just gives it that little extra oomph. (Oomph is American southern dialect for "je nais se quoi".)

But what really blew us away was the homemade enchilada sauce. So many recipes call for canned enchilada sauce. I can tell you after tonight, I will never crack a can of that stuff ever again. We adapted Alton Brown's enchilada sauce and it made all the difference in the world. It is rich and rocks the taste buds with a bit of heat on the way down.

Smoky Chicken & Bean Enchiladas

Sauce adapted from Alton Brown's Enchilada Lasagna
Enchilada recipe adapted from Southern Living

3-4 cloves garlic, very finely minced
2 ea chipotle in adobo sauce, seeded and diced
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp roasted cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 oz can tomato paste
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar

3 cups smoked chicken, diced
1 15 oz can beans, rinsed and drained (I used Bush Brothers Mixed Beans but the original recipe called for black beans. Kidney beans work too.)
1 10 oz can rotel (tomatoes with chilies)
1 cup corn kernals
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
8 ea flour tortillas (8" size)
2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce

Cilantro, chopped
Green onions, chopped

Mix all of the enchilada sauce recipes in a sauce pan and heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and reseason as needed with more salt and pepper. Cook another 15 minutes. This yielded about 3 cups of sauce when done.

Mix the chicken, beans, rotel, corn, and 1 1/2 cup of the cheeses in a large bowl. Place 1/8th of the mixture on each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 baking dish. If you can't find a 9 x 13 baking dish, a 13 x9 will do. Well, it will work if it is a right handed 13 x 9 inch model. I'm not sure about those left handed 13 x 9 ones, I don't have any.

Top with the sauce and remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350f for 20 minutes.

Uncover and bake another 15 minutes.

Let rest 5 minutes, garnish with the cilantro and green onion, and serve.

This was ridiculously good. Alexis and I both agreed that the enchilada sauce was the best we have ever had. You won't find a canned enchilada sauce in our house again.

So do you start doing a lot more "cooking for the week" on weekends when the temperatures turn South for the winter?