QUESO SMOTHERED CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

This enchilada recipe is kind of a play on a white sauce chicken enchilada. I’m not too much of a fan of a sour cream white sauce so I decided to use queso instead. It turned out amazing. I first starting making these enchiladas about 3 years ago. I wanted an enchilada that was super cheesy and spicy. I also wanted a flavorful filling inside a corn tortilla. I decided to take my homemade white queso and elevate it a bit to use as the sauce. I then decided to roast the chicken in the oven in a thick layer of spices. It all came together to create this wonderfully decadent smothered enchilada. It has the perfect layer of cheese on top of a thin layer of salsa verde. To make things easier and save some time, I decided to use a store bought canned salsa verde. I personally love the level of heat and flavor of Mr. Fresno’s salsa verde. If you’re not a big spicy fan, you can use a more milk brand of salsa instead. If you want to use a homemade salsa verde, that is also find too!

I’m pretty sure, my entire family and all of my friends have had these enchiladas as some point in time. I’ve probably made them over 100 times in my life. They are such a crowd pleaser. I haven’t had one person that didn’t go back for seconds! If you’re looking to feed a big crowd or have a fiesta coming up you want to cook for, make these enchiladas! They also save great too.

If you happen to have leftover queso or chicken filling, save it! You can save the chicken in the freezer for a later date and it can double as a taco or quesadilla filling. I love to serve the extra queso left over with chips and salsa. So whenever the enchiladas are cooking, everyone can snack on the white queso! This is the perfect way to utilize all the food.

TIP: When it comes time to mix the filling, I don’t use utensils. Instead I use my hands and almost squish the filling in between my fingers. This will make the filling stick together better and make it easier to fill and roll the tortillas.

TIP: The queso is also kind of tricky the first time around. When mixing cheese with milk, you need to make sure both are at about the same temperature. When melting the cheese in the microwave, make sure it gets completely melted before adding in the milk slowly. There should be no large chunks of cheese left after heated. Add in the milk slowly to that it’s easier to combine. When the cheese becomes runny but still slightly thick, then it’s ready. You may or may use all 2 cups of milk. Use you’re best judgement when adding the two together.

PAIR THESE WITH:

THE BEST GUACAMOLE

PICO DE GALLO

CHILI SPICED TORTILLA CHIPS

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QUESO SMOTHERED CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

Total time: 1.5 hours

Serves: 6+


CHICKEN FILLING INGREDIENTS:

3 chicken breasts

3 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/2 large white onion, small dice

1 can hot rotel

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack

SPICE MIXTURE INGREDIENTS:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp coriander

1 tsp Mexican oregano

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all spice mixture ingredients.

Filet each chicken breast in half so you have two equally thick pieces. Place chicken halves on a baking sheet and rub olive oil on chicken. Season heavily with spice mixture (you will use every bit of the spice mixture).

Place the seasoned chicken in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Let cool for 10 minutes before using two forks to shred chicken.

In a bowl (or on the same baking sheet as chicken was cooked) combine chicken, monterey jack cheese, 3/4 cup cilantro, hot rotel and white onion.

*I usually mix with my hands because it’s easier to incorporate everything that way*

Note: save remaining cilantro for enchilada topping.


TORTILLA INGREDIENTS:

14 corn tortillas

1-2 cups vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees. Fry each tortilla for 3 seconds a side and transfer to paper towels to drain. Once done, set aside for later.


QUESO INGREDIENTS:

1 lb white American cheese cut to small cubes

16 oz. cream cheese

2 4 oz. cans diced jalapeños

2 cups whole milk

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper (can omit)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Combine white american cheese and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 2 minute intervals till fully melted, stirring in between.

Heat up milk on the stove in a pot. Heat till right before it starts to bubble. Once it is hot, turn off heat.

Add hot milk to the cheese mixture 1/2 cup at a time and stir till combine. Once cheese and milk are combined, add jalapeños, spices, and cilantro. Stir and let sit till ready to use.


ASSEMBLY INGREDIENTS:

Chicken filling (above)

Queso (above)

Tortillas (above)

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 jar “Mr freznos hot salsa verde” or your favorite jar salsa verde.

Cotija cheese for topping

ASSEMBLY DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Take one tortilla at a time and fill with chicken filling. Be careful not to stuff too thick. Roll gently and place in a lightly greased 8×10 baking dish. Repeat till the pan is full.

Pour 1 cup of Mr. Fresno’s salsa verde on top of enchiladas and spread so that each enchilada has an even coat.

On top of that, poor the queso and make sure each enchilada is totally immersed. You will not use all of the queso. Make sure each enchilada is covered.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling all over

Once out of the oven, let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Top with queso fresco cheese and remaining chopped cilantro. Serve warm.


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