Chicken, Chile, and Cheese Enchiladas

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I had some leftover chicken from the other night that I wanted to use up.  It was chicken that I had marinated in lemon and a few spices, so perfect for making enchiladas.  I also used some pablano chiles that I had roasted, cleaned and froze about two months ago.  I found a big bag of them at a store, used some for my chile rellenos but still had several left that I didn’t want to go to waste.  Of course you can use canned, but if you have the opportunity to use fresh or fresh frozen, then definitely go that route.  Also, I would like to point out that I did not use any cream of (insert name here) soup, something about that stuff is just so strange to me.  Yes, I know a lot of you love the stuff…

For the Recipe:

3 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

2 c. chicken stock

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or you can use fresh garlic (2 cloves minced)

1 tsp. coriander powder

salt to taste, be sure to taste before adding since chicken broth can vary in saltiness

7 tortillas (one will be used for the crispy tortilla strips)

2 poblano chiles, roasted, cleaned and cut into strips (you can use canned if you do not have fresh)

8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

2 c. cooked chicken

1 c. canned black beans, rinsed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and whisk together.  Let cook for a few minutes so it can take on a little color, it won’t be much, you are not going for a dark roux.  While you are whisking add the chicken stock and whisk well.  Next add all the spices, but not the salt.  Let this mixture thicken up, takes about 5 minutes.  Taste the creamy mixture for salt, add to taste.  In an 8″ x 11″ (or something close) baking dish add almost half the mixture, save the rest to top the enchiladas.  Now time to assemble the enchiladas.

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Take a tortilla, lay down some cheese, then a couple chile strips, chicken and a light sprinkle of black beans, place into the baking dish.  Repeat with five more tortillas.  Cover the finished enchiladas with the remaining creamy mixture, top with the remaining cheese, chiles (I chopped the strips up so they would be easier to eat) and black beans.

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Cover with aluminum foil, bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the enchiladas are melted and bubbly.

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While the enchiladas are baking you can fry the tortilla strips.  Heat enough oil to 350 degrees in a pan so the tortilla strips can fry.  Take the remaining tortilla and cut into strips.  Toss into the oil, they will fry up very quickly so don’t walk away.  They will take about 1 1/2 minutes at the most.  Drain on paper towels and use to top the enchiladas for a little crunch.

I served with a basic salad of lettuce, radish and tomato with a little fresh lime juice.  Enjoy!

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