December 14, 2009

Jen's Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

I used a different method for these enchiladas, from which I normally use. My main motivation for improvising this dish was to use up the tomatillo salsa that we still had on hand from the other night. It was some of the best salsa I have ever made, and I didn't want one drop of it to go to waste. Also, I wanted the chicken to be shredded and super-tender. An idea formed, and I decided to plunk some frozen chicken breasts in the slow cooker this morning and take it from there. I really did not have a game plan, I was kinda making it up as I went along. Happily, this technique seems to be working out quite well. I snuck a taste and the chicken is exactly how I envisioned it to be, juicy and flavorful. Once the chicken was cooked, these were super-easy to put together. My enchiladas are in the oven as I write this, and I cannot wait to eat dinner!

Jen's Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
leftover tomatillo salsa
1 large can of green enchilada sauce
1 small can of diced green chiles
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
salt to taste
corn tortillas
cooking spray
3-4 Tablespoons of AP flour
3 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Place frozen chicken breasts in slow cooker and sprinkle tops with salt, coriander, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Top with enchilada sauce, making sure to coat chicken. Pour green chiles and leftover salsa on top. Cook on high for 5 hours.

When chicken is done, remove cooked chicken to a bowl and shred with two forks. Season with salt to taste. Add a couple big spoonfuls of cooking liquid to keep chicken moist. Set aside. (DO NOT discard the rest of the cooking liquid, you will need it to make the enchilada sauce).

In a separate sauce pan over medium high heat, melt butter. Once butter is melted, add in flour. Make sure to stir constantly with a whisk to incorporate flour and butter evenly. It should look like dry, butter coated flour chunks. Cook flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Add the slow cooker cooking liquid to pan. Bring to boil and stir constantly with a whisk until flour chunks are broken up and sauce begins to thicken to the proper consistency. Add salt if needed. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little bit of water (I would say use only 1/4 cup at a time, while stirring).

Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread some of your cooked sauce in the bottom of the dish. Roll a spoonful of chicken and a pinch of cheese into the corn tortillas, making rows. When pan is full, add remaining enchilada sauce on top and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

(printable recipe)

Jen's Notes:
Half of my rolled enchiladas had cheese in them and the other half did not due to my lactose issues. If you are cheese lovers, I would bump up the quantity of cheese in this dish to a full cup.

The Result:
These were soooooooo fantastically yummy! Really, I think I liked this method better than my normal enchilada technique. We all loved them! I didn't even make a side dish, the enchiladas were filling enough. The only down side to this meal was that the corn tortilla I used were not very flexible. Every time I tried to roll them, they would split. I think I just got a bum batch. (Also, I did not fry them first.) The flavor was still excellent, they just made for a messy presentation. Aside from the tortillas not cooperating, these enchiladas were great! I was really happy with the juicy texture of the chicken. Normally, slow cooker chicken tends to dry out...but not this time! I will certainly make these chicken enchiladas again!

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