It’s Monday. It’s overcast. Weather is cooler than it was this past weekend.
Oh, and we “sprang forward” this past weekend, as well, meaning that we lost an hour of sleep — so while we do get an “extra hour” of sunlight in the evenings now, chances are, if you’ve grown happily accustomed of late to awakening to lovely, crisp daylight in the morning, you’re now forced to try and drag yourself out of bed in darkness.
All of this makes me think of the song “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas:
Monday Monday, can’t trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how you could leave and not take me.
Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin’ all of the time
So to help cure us of our Monday blues, I’m going to make us up a big ol’ pan of Chicken Enchiladas in Green Chili Sauce.
As you have probably already guessed 😉 , we love TexMex, and I have a special place in my heart for enchiladas, especially. I have several variations on enchiladas, and this is another one of our favorites. While you can make it with boneless, skinless chicken breast that you’ve cut into small chunks and browned, or, I suppose, even with chicken you’ve taken from a baked, smoked, or rotisserie chicken and then shredded, ground chicken is really the perfect thing for this dish. And seeing as I have some ground chicken that I snagged “reduced for quick sale” in my freezer, this fits in perfectly with what we already have on-hand — and makes it a more economical dish, as well.
Hubby and I like things spicy, so I tend to shy away from ordering any chicken dishes in TexMex restaurants as they are usually just too bland for me. By making this dish at home, not only do I have better control over the carbs and also the calories through using good quality, reduced-fat ingredients and lean cooking methods, I can also add as much spice as my little heart desires. 🙂 No bland, flavorless chicken enchiladas for us!
While you can make this dish with carb-balance flour tortillas, I prefer the more traditional corn tortillas. We’ll serve it along with refried beans and my easy Spanish rice.
Chicken Enchiladas in Green Chili Sauce (Makes a dozen enchiladas)
- 1 pound ground chicken breast or equivalent in diced/chunked boneless, skinless chicken breast or shredded, cooked chicken
- 8 ounces cream cheese (suggest Greek yogurt cream cheese, reduced fat Neufchâtel, or fat free cream cheese; regular cream cheese makes it too rich tasting, IMO)
- 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, UNDRAINED
- 1 packet taco seasoning (or season meat to taste with chili powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper, and a splash of vinegar and maybe Worcestershire sauce)
- Sliced black olives (optional, but we really like them in the enchiladas)
- Diced/chopped onion to taste (red, yellow, white, or green onion – whatever you’ve got on hand…also optional, but we like them in the enchiladas)
- 2 (10 ounce) cans Old El Paso green chili enchilada sauce OR equivalent volume of your favorite green chili sauce (about 20 to 24 ounces, give or take — you just want to make sure you’ve got plenty of sauce to cover the enchiladas and keep them from getting dried out)
- Grated cheese (3 to 4 ounces, or 3/4 to 1 cup….suggest a combo of some reduced-fat cheddar and shredded Monterey jalapeño jack and/or habañero cheddar)
- 12 corn or flour tortillas (I suggest corn for this recipe, but the “fajita-sized” carb-balance tortillas will work well, also)
- In a non-stick skillet that you’ve lightly sprayed with cooking spray or lightly seasoned with canola oil, brown chicken and season as per taco seasoning packet directions or season to taste with spices.
- Stir in diced green chilies and cubed cream cheese, stirring over low heat until cheese is melted.
- Lightly spray or oil a 9” X 13” pan. Spread a thin layer of green chili sauce in the bottom of the pan.
- Steam tortillas, two or three at a time, in the microwave between two damp paper towels, then lightly spritz/spray each side of the tortilla with some cooking spray or oil. Fill 12 tortillas with the chicken-cream cheese filling, some diced onion, and some black olives, if desired. Roll tightly and place seam-side down in pan. (I usually have to run 8 vertically and then have 2 rows of 2 each horizontally).
- Top enchiladas with remaining green chili sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake until heated through and bubbly (in a non-preheated oven, about 20 –30 minutes @ 400F, about 30 to 40 minutes @ 350F, about 40 to 50 minutes at 325F). Let rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- NOTE: You can make this up to 24 hours ahead and just keep it in the ‘fridge ’til you’re ready to bake it. You may need to add a bit of time when cooking it cold from the fridge.
This will smell so yummy that singing “Monday, Monday” while you make the enchiladas will actually make you smile. 🙂 (Go on, watch it. You know you want to!)