Tonight’s Recipe: Chicken and Goat Cheese Enchiladas
6 chicken split breasts
8 oz fresh goat cheese
10 sprigs leafy fresh thyme, stems removed
4 large basil leaves, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp Mediterranean oregano
2 dried ancho chilies
1 cup dry white wine
20 oz purred tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
fresh ground pepper
shredded monterey jack cheese
In a large pot, cover chicken breasts with water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil gently for an hour.
In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, 3 tbsps olive oil, thyme leaves, and basil. Add finely ground sea salt to taste. Let sit to combine flavors.
In a pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add ancho chilies. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Remove stems and seeds. Place chilies and 1 cup of soaking water to a food processor and puree until smooth.
In a saute pan, add 3tbsp olive oil and onions. Saute on medium heat until soft. Add garlic, cook 1 minute, add cumin and oregano, cook 2 more minutes. Add chili puree and bring to a gentle boil, cook on medium 4 more minutes. Add wine, tomatoes and stock and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the chicken from the water to a bowl and shred removing bones and skin. Place a stack of tortillas in a microwave between two damp paper towels. Microwave for 45 seconds.
Coat the bottom of two 9×12 glass casseroles with chili sauce. Take one tortilla and spread the middle portion with goat cheese mixture, then cover with shredded chicken. Roll and place seam side down in casserole. Repeat until filled. Cover with chili sauce and then top with monterey jack. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Ancho chilies are dried poblanos. They make a wonderful deep flavor. I used to have troubles finding these, and made this with green chilies, which just wasn’t the same at all. They store nicely in your pantry though, so buy a bunch and keep them around.
Also, the goat cheese is excellent this way, but if you are trying to cut down on steps, CheesyGirl‘s Femme Fatale is a nice substitute. I imagine any herbed goat cheese would be good.
Enchiladas in any form are a bit of work. But they make good leftovers and freeze well. Also, they are a very easy food to portion out. If you’re going to the trouble to make them, invite over friends or make a pan for a friend. This recipe makes about 20 enchiladas. Years ago, my friend Marti and her sister used to often make double portions then swap a dish. I was always truly envious of the arrangement. I’ve never managed to pull off a regular arrangement like this, but Sunday dinner has long-standing been an open invitation in my house. Actually, most any night is an open invitation. I’ve never been great at cooking in small portions, and love to feed friends. Food is Love in my book.