September 18th, 2014
Exceprt and recipe from The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman. Photography by Todd Coleman.
Make the enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 13 by 9–inch baking dish or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
Line a plate with paper towels. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon of the oil, and swirl it around. Add a tortilla and cook until it is just beginning to become very pliable, literally 2 to 3 seconds. Using tongs, a fork, or a spatula, flip the tortilla and cook it until it is floppy but not mushy, 2 to 3 seconds longer. Quickly transfer the tortilla to the paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, stacking them up as they are cooked and adding more oil in tiny amounts as needed.
You can continue with Step 4 or see the Fork in the Road suggestions for adapting the enchiladas to suit your family on the facing page.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the skillet and heat it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and oregano and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the enchilada sauce and stir well. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the sauce come to a simmer. Turn off the heat. Place the shredded chicken and half of the sauce in a medium-size bowl and stir to mix. Set the remaining sauce aside.
Place a tortilla on a work surface, spoon a generous 1⁄4 cup of the chicken filling along one edge, and gently roll up the tortilla, making sure the filling doesn’t pop out the ends (don’t worry about a tiny tear here or there). Carefully place the enchilada seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, lining up the rolls tightly and neatly against each other.
Pour the reserved sauce evenly over the enchiladas, making sure they are all covered, and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Bake until everything is hot and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
Serve the enchiladas with cilantro, scallions, avocado, sour cream, and/or salsa, if desired (the sour cream is usually highly desired).
Cooking Tip: Warming the tortillas in a bit of oil is an added step but really makes the dish. After a brief moment in the skillet the corn flavor becomes more developed and the tortillas also become more pliable and easier to wrap around the filling with less cracking. It takes about 3 minutes from start to finish to warm all of the tortillas, and you can use that same skillet when you make the very fast doctored-up enchilada sauce so you are not dirtying one more pot. However, you can also just wrap the stack of corn tortillas in a double layer of paper towels, put them on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave them until they are hot, about 45 seconds or so, if that’s what will get the enchiladas on the table.
Make Ahead: You can assemble the enchiladas up to a day ahead of time, but don’t sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate it. Uncover the dish and if possible let the enchiladas sit at room temperature for twenty to thirty minutes before baking. Sprinkle on the cheese right before the enchiladas go in the oven. Know that you will need to allow several extra minutes of cooking time for the enchiladas to become heated through. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven or in the microwave.