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updated: 1/2/2012 6:12 AM

Edgar's Chicken Enchiladas

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  • Chef Edgar Cruz prepares chicken enchiladas for residents at Silverado Senior Living in Lake Zurich.

      Chef Edgar Cruz prepares chicken enchiladas for residents at Silverado Senior Living in Lake Zurich.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer


2 chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

2 cups chicken broth

2 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

1 bunch cilantro

Kosher salt

2 pounds plum tomatoes

1-3 serrano peppers

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus cup for frying

1 large white onion, dice about of it; slice the rest for garnish

1 cup sour cream

12 corn tortillas (preferably yellow)

1 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese

Put the chicken in a medium pot with 3 cups of water, broth, bay leaves and cilantro; season with salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer, turning the chicken as needed until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool, discard the bay leaves and cilantro, reserve the broth and garlic.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Put the tomatoes and chilies on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning until roasted, about 12 minutes. Wrap them in foil to catch any juices, and then cool slightly. Peel the chilies and transfer to a blender with the tomatoes and collected juices. Remove the garlic from the broth and add to the blender and puree until smooth.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring until golden about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and stir in the tomato-chili puree and teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the reserved broth and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook about 20 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt; keep the sauce warm.

Discard the chicken skin and shred the meat into a large bowl. Toss the chicken with the sour cream and teaspoon salt. Soak the sliced onion in a bowl of cold water while you prepare the enchiladas.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spread 1 cup of the tomato-chili sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Heat cup vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry a tortilla until puffed, about 15 seconds per side, turning with tongs. Quickly spoon 2 tablespoons chicken onto the tortilla, roll it up and put seam side down in the baking dish. Fry and fill the remaining tortillas arranging them side-by-side in the dish. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese on top of them and bake 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and begins to brown. Garinsh with drained sliced onions.

Serves six to eight.

Chef Edgar Cruz, Silverado Senior Living, Lake Zurich

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