Sunday, May 1, 2005

Chicken Enchiladas (with Red Chile Sauce)

This weekend's experiment was Chicken Enchiladas, as seen on America's Test Kitchen. I'm a big fan of this show, and I've made more than one of their 'simplified' recipes. They strive for recipes that are less work than traditional renditions, while attempting to preserve authentic flavors. This recipe is another winner. The link is behind a registration firewall, but it's free, so I'd recommend it.

I followed their directions pretty closely, with a few elisions (Jean's emphatic directive of no cilantro!!! being one of them ). We also used chicken breasts, rather than chicken thighs. On the plus side, this lowers the overall fat content of the meal. On the minus side, breasts don't tend to shred on cooking 1/4 inch strips, as thighs do, so our enchiladas had a bit more body than the authentic variety.

Their recipe needs some sort of adjustment, as they have ten six inch corn tortillas clearly specified, but a third of a cup of filling each, which barely permitted folding, much less "tightly rolled" enchiladas. A 9"X15" pan was just the perfect size for ten of these oversized suckers, though, so they got that right.

Kelly liked the sauce, which was spicy enough, containing ingredients such as onion, cumin, coriander and chili powder (three tablespoons!). But when it came to the filling, she put her foot down. She was okay with the chicken, but those little pickled cublets of jalapeƱo acted as little heat bombs on her young tongue and palette. No more standard filling for her. I suggested that I would make the same recipe next time, but prepare a side plate of ground chicken or turkey so she could grab some of the sauce and concoct an impromptu chili. That won't be for awhile, as this dish takes a bit of work.

Next time, too, I'll have to prepare a bit of our homemade Salsa.

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