I roasted a chicken the other night. For some reason, it took an absolute eternity in there. I turned up the oven, poked it with a thermometer, and my family was sitting at the table salivating. So we had soup instead (I know. The fact that I had an alternative around is sickening.) and I saved the chicken for something else.
There's really nothing better than a big bowl of shredded, roasted chicken in the fridge. Oh, the possibilities! I must have used it 1,000 times in my mind. Thai soup? Panini? Pasta? This, my version of enchiladas, won out. Normally, I make veggie enchiladas or try to make my chicken stretch with some black beans, but this time it was all chicken. My kids love that. What is it with kids and meat? Mine, at least, are completely carnivorous.
Here are some Leftoverist tips for enchiladas:
- For heavens sake, don't roll them. Way too much work. I simply use corn tortillas like I would lasagna noodles, as layers in-between everything else. Your enchiladas will cut up into perfect squares and you won't have to worry about all those floppy ends everywhere.
- If you have time and energy, you can quickly fry your corn tortillas before you layer. Most the time, I just throw mine in cold. You'll get a bit less distinct texture in the finished dish, but it doesn't bother me.
- I have used so many fillings over the years. One of my favorites is roasted yams and onions. I put some canned black beans in there, too. It's beautiful, delicious, and holds its shape really well. I've also done roasted potatoes, shredded pork, or cold rice that I saute up with whatever's in the fridge. You could do tofu as long as you made up in flavor somewhere else.
- I've made my own enchilada sauce before. It's not hard, but takes more time than I usually have for dinner. 90% of the time, I buy the canned stuff.
- I like sharp white cheddar--so much more flavor than medium yellow cheddar. But either will work.
- I love to shower my enchiladas with all sorts of topping for flavor and crunch: thinly sliced radishes and green onions, crumbled tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped cilantro and red onion, Tapatio hot sauce.
- Seems like I always have a pack of corn tortillas knocking around in my fridge. This is a great way to use them up. They have to be pretty darn old before I can justify throwing them out.
We're on our third night of eating this. Leftoverists, unite!
Green Chile Tortilla Pie
This make a 9 x 13. You could certainly halve it. And you know me and my roasted chiles. Leave them out if you don't like the heat or the time it takes.
Shredded chicken from one whole roasted chicken (do it yourself or buy one)
About 20 corn tortillas, white or yellow
4 c. shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
6 poblano peppers
One 28 oz. can + one 14 oz. can of green enchilada sauce
thinly sliced radishes and green onions
crumbled tortilla chips
finely diced red onion
To roast chiles: Wash them and put them on a baking sheet. Put under the broiler for about 4 minutes/side, rotating until they are blackening and blistered. Put them in a plastic or paper bag and close it so they steam up. Wait about 10 minutes. Peel skins off cooled peppers, remove seeds, and coarsely chop. (I use disposable gloves to do this.)
Line a 9 x 13 pan with tortillas--some whole, some ripped in half to cover as thoroughly as possible. Layer with 1/3 of chicken, 1/4 cheese, 1/3 chiles, 1/4 sauce. Repeat for two more layers. End with a last layer of tortillas and more sauce, cheese over the top. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and tortilla pie is hot throughout.
Important: Let sit for 10 minutes before you cut it. And they're even better the next day.