Sunday, June 7, 2009

Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese

2-3 tablespoons chile powder
2 tablespoons minced garlic
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire roasted)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra for the tortillas
2 cups chicken broth
12 corn tortillas
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 generous cups (about 8 oz.) coarsely shredded cooked chicken (about a half of a large rotissiere chicken)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
Cilantro sprigs

In food processor, blend together chile powder, garlic, tomatoes with their juice, cumin and black pepper. Blend to as smooth as consistency as possible.

Heat oil in a large (4 qt.) saucepan over medium high heat. Cook sauce, stirring until it is reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, about 5-7 minutes. Pour in the broth, reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10 minutes while you prepare the tortillas, filling and toppings.

Lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush lightly on both sides with oil, then stack them in twos. Slide the tortillas into the oven and bake just long enough to make them soft and pliable, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and stack them in a single pile; cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.

Taste the sauce and season with salt, usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons, and the sugar. Stir in additional chicken broth if the sauce has thickened beyound the consistency of light cream soup.

Spread about 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Stir another 1/2 cup sauce into the chicken. Lay out a warm tortilla, top with a portion of chicken and roll up. Lay seam side down in the baking dish. Continue filling and rolling the rest of the tortillas, then ladle the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is starting to brown. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

--Adapted from Rick Bayless

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