April 2, 2014

Awesome Chicken Enchiladas

My garden is like a box of chocolates. I never know what I'm going to get! *giggle* Most of the things that are coming up, I have already identified. I've got some succulents in the rock garden, a dozen or so random tulips, a patch of irises, and some hyacinths (which are the only things actually blooming so far). There were big patches of dead something-or-other, and something weird-looking has been coming up underneath them... 
Do you know what these ARE?!
You garden-y people probably already know, just by the pictures. I'd say they're pretty distinctive. I had no earthly idea, until a lady stopped by to pick up the blinds we posted on Craigslist, and said, "Oh, your peonies are coming up too!"

Wait. Hold on one ding-dang second. 

*proceed with ecstatic freak-out*

Can you believe it?! They're only my second favorite garden flower EVER!! I always thought they'd be finicky and there'd be no way I could grow them myself. But they're already here!! Four whole patches of them!!! Can you tell I'm a little excited about this?? I just hope I don't kill them... Time to study up on the care and feeding of peonies!

Awesome Chicken Enchiladas (inspired by Our Best Bites cookbook & my brother-in-law)
Printable Recipe

4 Tbs. butter
5 Tbs. flour
2 (15 ounce) cans of chicken broth
Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 Tb chili powder
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp pepper

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp salt
1 (7 ounce) can diced green chilies
3 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken (I love using a rotisserie chicken for this!)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack/pepper jack cheese (I advise against pre-shredded, it gets gummy)

8-10 medium tortillas

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside. (You can also divide in half with two 8x8 pans and freeze one for later!) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spices and flour and stir for a minute or two, until the flour smells toasty and the spices are bloomed. Be careful not to burn them! Slowly add chicken broth, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened. Add a few splashes of Tabasco sauce and salt to taste. Let simmer for a few minutes while you mix up the filling.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, chicken, salt, chilies, 1 cup of cheese, and 1 cup of sauce. Stir till combined.

Pour about 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place about 1/2 cup of filling in each tortilla and roll up. Place rolled tortilla in the baking dish. Continue until your dish is full, and all those tortillas are snuggled up against each other. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the tortillas and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake 25-35 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese is melted. Serve hot with sour cream.
Do you have a favorite food, or a go-to, no matter where you are? Chicken enchiladas are one of mine. It's pretty much the only thing I order at Mexican restaurants, ever. It's also one of my favorite homemade meals, but I've never quite nailed it. Probably because I've never ventured out and made my own sauce!
The sauce was not what I expected, but it was delicious. WAY better than the kind that comes in a can! THESE are the enchiladas I've been waiting for!! I ate the leftovers for three days, they were that good. And I'm not really a leftover girl, I must admit. I make The Geologist eat most of them. But these I claimed!
I know my pictures have a cheddar-mixed-cheese, but we agreed that Jack would be lots better. Pepper jack if you want to add a little more heat! The filling is flavorful and zesty, with just enough creamy richness and lots of mouthwatering spices.

I was craving them for weeks after! Writing this post actually makes me crave them again... I wonder if the fam is ready for a repeat... Take my word as a chicken-enchilada-aficionado, and make these! Soon!!


  1. How wonderful that you have Peonies! I brought some from my grandfather down here to NC. They were in NH. Down here, they have come up every year but as of yet, haven't bloomed, This year I've transplanted them and have fertilized them in hopes to get a bloom or two.

    Thank you so much for your recipe. It sounds and looks soooo good. I've copied and saved it and will be trying it this coming week.

    1. I know, right??? How lucky can a girl get!! Oh I hope mine bloom. I hope I have different colors even! So glad you're going to try these, you'll love them! If you aren't a huge fan of spicy, go with the smaller cayenne measurement and you'll be fine :) I'd love to hear how you like them!


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