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Red Chile Chicken Enchiladas

All the flavors you would get in a restaurant version for half the calories. Yes.
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As much as we would love to bag on restaurant-style enchiladas, the truth is, even in the worst Mexican chain restaurants, enchiladas are normally your safest bet on the menu. That is, as long they're made with corn tortillas (lighter in fat than flour), filled with shredded chicken (better for you than ground beef), and covered in salsa and a layer of cheese (gentler than the battery of condiments that cover most Mexican dishes). Even healthier yet, is making your own enchiladas at home, as you are able to make these kinds of choices yourself and control the portions to boot. In this red chile chicken enchilada recipe, we follow the above blueprint. You can play with the filling as you see fit, but this is the truly the road map for true enchilada success.

Nutrition: 375 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated), 630 mg sodium

Serves 6

You'll Need

1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, excess liquid poured off
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp chipotle pepper
1 tsp cumin
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1⁄2 Tbsp canola or peanut oil
2 cups shredded chicken, preferably from a store-bought rotisserie chicken
12 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Jack cheese
Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Combine the tomatoes, half the onion, the garlic, chipotle, cumin, and cinnamon (if using) in a blender.
  2. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add the sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Spread one-third of the sauce on the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking dish.
  6. Combine the chicken with another third of the sauce in a mixing bowl.
  7. Wrap the tortillas in a damp kitchen towel and microwave for 30 seconds, until hot and pliable.
  8. Arrange a few generous tablespoons of sauced chicken down the center of a tortilla and gently roll up.
  9. Place the filled tortilla seam-side down in the baking dish.
  10. Repeat with the remaining chicken and tortillas.
  11. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and top with the cheese.
  12. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  13. Top the enchiladas with the remaining onion slices and cilantro, if you like, before serving.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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