Original and Practical Recipes. Inexpensive, Quick and Healthy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

I love Mexican food!  It is something that was impossible to find in Maine (where I grew up), but came to love when I moved to New York and then Chicago.  Recently my fiance and I went to a Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood (Zocalo), but were a bit overwhelmed by how spicy their food was.  So with my craving for enchiladas not satisfied, I took matters into my own hands and made them myself.  I tried to make these as healthy as I could, since we have been pigging out lately!

This recipe is loosely based on a recipe in this month's Cooking Light.

You will need:
1 pound chicken breasts
3 cups cold Water
1 large carton of Chicken Broth
5 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chopped Celery
1/4 cup chopped Carrot
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 cup chopped Onion
1 jar Salsa (I used Newman's black bean and corn)
1/4 cup Fat Free Half and Half
1 can Black Beans
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2/3 cup 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
12 reduced fat Tortillas (6 inch, corn or flour)
1/2 cup Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese
Cooking Spray

Step 1:
Combine the water, broth, garlic, celery, carrot, onion, jalapeno, and chicken in a large pot and heat to a simmer.  Cook for 8 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked.  Once fully cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and let cool.  Then drain the cooking liquid into another pot.  You want to discard the solids and save the liquid.

Step 2:
Shred the chicken.  Then combine the salsa and the cooking liquid.  Bring to a boil and let reduce for 30 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to low and stir in the half and half.  Cook 5 more minutes.

Step 3:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Then place the shredded chicken in a medium bowl.  Add the black beans, salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, and cream cheese.  Stir together.

Step 4:
Soak each tortilla in the sauce for 10 seconds.  Then fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture.  Roll up and place in a greased casserole, seam side down.  Once all the tortillas have been filled and added to the dish, spoon the rest of the sauce over the top.  Then spread the cheddar cheese over the top.

Step 5:
Bake for 20 minutes, the top should be lightly browned.

Please note that the leftovers tend to dry out a little - mix some water and salsa together and pour over before reheating.

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