Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

  • Once a dish to repurpose leftovers, this recipe for Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas is a destination meal.

    Once a dish to repurpose leftovers, this recipe for Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas is a destination meal. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post

Posted1/2/2019 6:00 AM

3 cups homemade or store-bought enchilada sauce

Hot sauce


Fresh lime juice

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (excess fat trimmed)

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (2 cups)

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped, plus more for garnish (about 24 stems)

Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray.

Pour the enchilada sauce into a medium saucepan. Taste it and stir in a little hot sauce and lime juice, as needed. Bring the sauce just to a boil over medium-high heat, then nestle the chicken thighs in the pot so they are mostly submerged. Reduce the heat to medium; partially cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the thighs over halfway through, so the chicken cooks evenly. (Their internal temperature should register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.) Remove from the heat.

Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When it's cool enough to handle, use your fingers or two forks to shred the chicken, placing it in a mixing bowl as you work. Add half the Monterey Jack, all the cheddar and the cilantro, tossing until well incorporated. This is your enchilada filling.

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Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease both sides of the tortillas with cooking oil spray (hold them over the sink for easy cleanup). Heat 3 at a time in the skillet just long enough to make them pliable, 15 to 20 seconds per side, then transfer to the cutting board. (If you have a smaller skillet, you can do them 1 or 2 at a time.)

Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture at the center of each pliable tortilla. Roll tightly into cylinders and arrange them seam side down in the baking dish, touching side by side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. The baking dish will be filled.

Pour the sauce over the top of the rolled tortillas. Scatter the remaining Monterey Jack over the top. Bake (middle rack) for 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and just started to brown in spots. Sprinkle more cilantro on top; serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6

Calories: 420; Total Fat: 23 g; Saturated Fat: 14 g; Cholesterol: 125 mg; Sodium: 1370 mg; Carbohydrates: 23 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 4 g; Protein: 29 g.

From Becky Krystal, loosely based on an America's Test Kitchen recipe.

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