I heart enchiladas. I heart my mom's enchiladas. But this isn't your mom's or my mom's good old fashioned enchiladas. There is a fun twist for those unsuspecting taste buds hidden under all that delicious cheese.
When you slide your fork through the cheese, the wonderfully red sauce, and into the tortilla for that first bite, you smell a hint of cinnamon and paprika. You lift the fork up to your mouth and smell the wonderful warm spices and the smokiness of the tomato. You are hungry so you just put it in your mouth and those normal Mexican flavors you were expecting aren't there. Instead you taste those warm Spanish/European flavors of cinnamon, paprika, tomatoes, parsley, onion, garlic, and even some smoky sausage. It throws your taste buds for good solid loop, but tastes so good you just keep eating.
The leftovers are even better. It's one of those meals that just has love inside. Treat yourself, a friend, or family to this dish full of melty cheese, flavorful chicken, and all those wonderful warming flavors in Spanish (paprika, cinnamon) cooking that make you feel warm inside.
(My take of) Rachael Ray's Chicken & Sausage Spanish Style Enchiladas
Makes 6 large enchiladas
Double it for football games
Double it for football games
*One of the big changes I made to the original recipe was using kielbasa sausage instead of spanish chorizo. I had trouble finding it spanish chorizo at the store. Does that happen to anyone else too? First world problem - for sure. Mexican chorizo is easily found, but it is a softer meat, has different spices, and has a different texture so I didn't sub it with that.
1-2 Tbs Olive oil
6 oz (half of a package) of Spanish chorizo, removed from casings and diced or half of a package of kielbasa sausage
1 leftover chicken breast from previous meal, cooked fresh poached, or one breast from a freezer meal. I used this salsa chicken freezer meal for my chicken - just pulled one breast out of the freezer bag and used the rest of the chicken on other things during the week.
1 heaping tsp of minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp heaping of smoked paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 red pepper finely diced
1 carrot, washed, peeled, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper ( I took the seeds out for my 4 yr old - leave them in for some heat)
1 bay leaf
1/2 Spanish onion, chopped
1 cup of chicken broth or stock (used homemade)
14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 + (Use your own judgement) cups of jack cheese, shredded (pepper jack or manchego would be good options)
1 handful of flat leaf parsley chopped
1 handful of cilantro chopped (optional for garnish)
sour cream (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.
2. Brown up the sausage, and set it aside to cool using a slotted spoon. If your chicken is raw start cooking that also or wait and cook it in the same pan as the sausage to capture some of that flavor. If you are using leftover chicken, pull it out, shred it with forks or fingers and set it aside.
3. To the pan with the drippings add another 1 Tbs of olive oil if needed (depends on how much fat came off the sausage). Then add the garlic, red pepper, carrot, jalapeno, bay leaf, onion, salt, and pepper. Saute together for 6-7 minutes until everything is softening.
|Look at all those colors :)|
4. Add the chicken stock, paprika, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and cinnamon to the skillet or pot. Simmer for about 15 minutes (low-medium heat just enough to help it thicken up)
Note: The first time I made this dish I left the enchilada sauce chunky. Next time I make it I will be smoothing it out so I am adding step 5 in. So my pictures might look different from what you will end up. That is the only difference. Doing or not doing step 5 won't change the taste but will make it easier to eat. The veggies left in chunks over the top of the enchiladas were messy to eat and required a fork and knife.
5. Take the sauce in 2-3 batches and puree it with a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Please be careful when handling hot liquids. I have found that putting a small hand or kitchen towel around the lids of those times of kitchen tools are very helpful just incase something splashes up.
6. Grab a large casserole dish (11x 7) or whatever you have and spray a little bit of cooking spray on it.
7. Put one large ladle or measuring cup spoon full down into the bottom of the casserole dish.
8. Dip your tortillas in that lovely pureed sauce you just made and flip it over with your hands or an utensil. Put line up your sauced tortillas on the counter or do them individually on a plate to be less messy.
9. Divide the cheese in half. Use the first half of cheese by putting an equal handful in the center of each tortilla. The second half will top the rolled tortillas.
9. Combine the chorizo or sausage whatever you are using with the chopped parsley and chicken in a bowl. Evenly distribute this delish combo onto the tortillas as well.
10. Roll the tortillas but folding over two of the side in towards the middle, holding the sides while you roll the bottom up almost over to the top. Finish it but rolling it over and putting it steam side down in the pan.
|If you puree your sauce it will look smooth and beautiful unlike this chunky beauty in the pic|
11. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you finish rolling the rest of these beauties. Top the rolled enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese.
Note: If you are making this as a freezer or make ahead meal. Finish rolling your enchiladas, top them with cheese and sauce. Let it cool on the counter completely. Cover and freezer or Cover and chill until you want to make it.
12. Bake for 35 minutes until it is hot, bubbly and the cheese is browned. Serve with favorite toppings such as cilantro, sour cream, beans, rice, chips, salsa, ect.
Enjoy the beginning of fall with this warm comforting dish! It's sure to please and surprise.
From my kitchen to yours