White Chicken Enchiladas

I love this local Mexican restaurant named Habaneros.  They have such fantastic food, and though I'm always partial to a quesadilla, last time I was there I ventured into White Enchiladas.  My sister in law and her boyfriend were coming over for dinner, and I found out one of their favorite dishes was the very same enchiladas I had tried and loved!  So the dinner plans were set: White Chicken Enchiladas, homemade Salsa, and Quesadillas for a fully awesome dinner.


Of course, I hadn't the slightest clue how to make these enchiladas, so I got to searching and found a recipe.  I made my own chicken seasoning for it, and grabbed the rest of the ingredients for my first homemade enchilada encounter.

First I seasoned both sides of the chicken with cumin, white pepper, chili powder, salt, and garlic powder, then cooked the chicken in a cast iron skillet with some olive oil.



Now I wasn't able to find shredded Monterey Jack, but as fate would have it the blocks were buy one get one free at the grocery.  So I shredded one of the blocks with my never-before-used cheese grater and voila!  This cheese is pretty soft so it ended up mashed at times, but I got the job done.


Once the chicken was fully cooked, I cubed 2 of the chicken breasts (leaving the 3rd for my Quesadilla recipe which will be shared soon) and tossed it in a bowl with 1 cup of the shredded cheese.



Now for the enchiladas.  I sprayed a baking dish with non-stick spray and then added 6 flour tortillas filled with the chicken and cheese to the pan.


The cheesy sauce was next.  To make this, I melted the butter in a small saucepan and whisked in the flour.  I went astray from the original recipe here, adding the remaining 1 cup of cheese in a saucepan rather than mixing it later (I hadn't thought about it while shredding it, but technically speaking I could have just melted part of the block of cheese...oh well!) and mixed it well, then added the broth. I heated the mixture over medium heat until it was thick and bubbly, then removed the pan from the heat and stirred in the sour cream and can of chiles to finish it off.


Finally, I poured the sauce over the tortillas, making sure to cover it completely, then placed it in the oven.


I let them bake until the cheese was slightly browned on the top.


Not at all spicy, but perfectly cheesy!  The chiles didn't really spice these up at all, and they were truly quite awesome, to put it lightly.  My sister in law and her boyfriend enjoyed them thoroughly, and I was happy to have some leftovers for work the next day.  The chicken seasoning was perfect for this, and Monterey Jack was certainly the right cheese choice.  I may toss in some more spices into the sauce or maybe add some jalapeƱos to the mix.  Now I need to try some regular enchiladas, too!

White Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
6 medium flour tortillas (about 8-9 inches in diameter)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 can green chiles (4 ounces)
1 cup sour cream

Instructions:

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat.  Season both sides of the chicken with cumin, garlic powder, white pepper, salt, and chili powder.  Cook for 6-7 minutes on each side until browned on both sides and cooked throughout. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9 x 13" baking casserole with nonstick cooking spray.  Cube chicken and toss in 1 cup of the shredded cheese. the chicken to the tortillas then roll them up and set them in the baking casserole.  To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour.  Add the broth and whisk.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of cheese and mix well, then continue cooking over medium heat until the sauce is thick and bubbly.  Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in sour cream and chiles.  Pour the sauce over the baking pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, until cheese sauce is slightly browned on the top.

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