Monday, May 7, 2012

Stacked Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce

Enchiladas are one of my family's favorite meals.

What makes this recipe unique, besides the creamy green chile sauce (I'll get to that deliciousness later), is the idea of stacking instead of rolling the enchiladas. The difference: layer the meat/bean mixture with pieces of whole or torn tortilla, sauce, and cheese. If you're interested in saving even more time, I like to layer enchiladas in a slow-cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours. It saves electricity and keeps the kitchen at a more bearable temperature.

Now to the deliciousness called green chile sauce. Natalie at Perry's Plate first introduced me to this recipe and her comment of drinking the sauce right out of the bowl is believable. I left the jalapenos out of my sauce since my kids are not fans of heat and the green chilis provided enough heat for their palettes. Plus, this creamy goodness is made with Greek yogurt, NOT fattening sour cream, helping me feel less guilty about licking every drip of the sauce.

This recipe calls for roasting chicken for 30 minutes prior to preparing the enchiladas. I've made this chicken by roasting it in the oven, sauteing it on the stove top, and even cooking it in large batches in the slow cooker. Proceed per your pleasure...just thoroughly cook your seasoned chicken and try not to overbake/overcook or it will be dry.

Stacked Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce

For the chicken:
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T heat-safe oil
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the filling:
Heat-safe oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
For the sauce:
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T all-purpose flour
1 15-ounce can of chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1 8-ounce can of fire-roasted diced green chiles
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
For the enchiladas:
12-16 corn tortillas, halved
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Limes, guacamole, and more fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking dish with aluminum foil.
To prepare the chicken, combine the mustard, oil, chili powder and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken breasts and toss to coat. Place them in the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes then shred with two forks. Set the meat and the juices from the baking dish aside.
To make the rest of the filling, coat a large skillet with the oil and bring to medium heat. Saute the onion for 5-8 minutes or until soft. Add the zucchini and cook for another 6-8 minutes or until zucchini is soft and slightly browned. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt, and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved chicken and juices to the skillet, stir well, and remove mixture from heat. Set aside.
To make the sauce, wipe out the skillet you just used (or grab another one). Melt the butter over medium heat and add garlic and jalapenos. Cook until they're soft, but don't let the garlic brown, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute, until incorporated. Add the stock and raise the heat to high, bringing the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquids have reduced and the sauce has thickened a bit and become opaque, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer the sauce mixture to a blender or a food processor, add the yogurt, chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne. Puree until smooth. 
To assemble the enchiladas, coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with about 2/3 cup of sauce. Layer tortillas to cover the bottom, then add 1/2 of the chicken-zucchini filling, 1/3 of the cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Repeat layering with tortillas, 1/2 of the remaining sauce, the rest of the chicken-zucchini filling, 1/3 of the cheese, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Finish off the layers with tortillas, the remaining sauce, and the remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes to brown the top. (I broiled it for a few minutes at the end to really crisp things up.) Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with guacamole and lime wedges.
Who Dished it first? Perry's Plate with slight alterations made by me.

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