February 03, 2015

cream cheese chicken enchiladas

This recipe is my go-to. When in doubt, chicken enchiladas. 

Home group? Chicken enchiladas.

Sympathy meal? Chicken enchiladas.
The big game? Chicken enchiladas.
Thanksgiving eve? Chicken enchiladas.
Company comin? Chicken enchiladas.
Snow day? Chicken enchiladas.
Don't know what to make? Chicken enchiladas.

I've been making these forever. This is my original recipe for creamy chicken enchiladas that I've had since my first year of marriage in 1994. I had a season of my life where I strayed...I tried a different recipe that had cream of something soup and promised to be easier and better....but I've since returned to this recipe. It's a little more work, but it's by far the best. I frankly have no idea why I strayed in the first place!

Hmmmm. That'll preach.

These cream cheese chicken enchiladas are R-I-C-H. Dairy on the inside and dairy on the outside. And they have a lot of flavors from tender buttery onions and chopped green chiles to cumin, paprika, and jalapeno juice for a teeny bit of heat. Serve them with Nana's homemade salsa and you are all set for the crowd, sympathy meal, the big game, company, and snow! 

This recipe also makes a great Sharing Batch - making two small pans instead of one big!


{makes one 9x13 pan}
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 larger can or 2 small cans of chopped green chiles
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 8oz block of cream cheese
2 cups freshly shredded cheddar + 2 cups freshly shredded monterey jack
-shred the cheese and combine them in a big bowl-
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of juice from jarred jalapenos
10 large flour tortillas
1 pint of heavy cream
A few shakes of paprika and chili powder

 Preheat oven for 350 degrees.
 In a large skillet or saucepan with some depth,* saute chopped onion in 1 teaspoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil until transparent. Add green chiles, and saute a minute or two. Turn down heat to medium-low; add block of cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in shredded chicken. Stir in cumin, salt, and jalapeno juice. Taste for salt and seasoning; add more if needed. 
Remove from saucepan, and pour into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Add in 3 cups of the cheese, reserving 1 cup of cheese for later. Stir well to combine.
Spread each tortilla with the chicken/cheese mixture, roll, and line them up in a greased 9x13 dish. You will need to cram them! Pour the heavy cream over the enchiladas, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese, and shake a little paprika and chili powder over the top. 
Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes; remove foil and bake another 20 minutes. Turn up heat to 375 and bake another 10 minutes or so to make them bubbly and begin to brown the cheese on top. Sprinkle the top with chopped cilantro. Serve with sour cream, salsa, and slices of avocado. 
*I use my Le Creuset 3.5qt braiser! Ask for one for your birthday or Christmas...you're life will never be the same.