Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Salsa Verde Stacked Chicken Enchiladas

I think it's safe to say that we enjoy Mexican food at least once a week, whether we go out to eat at our favorite local restaurant or I make it at home.  I have a weakness for the stuff; it's amazing, delicious, full of flavor and so incredibly satisfying...and the margaritas with salt don't hurt anything either!  When I'm planning my weekly menus, I try to plan between 3-5 easier meals to make during the week and 1-2 more tedious, time consuming meals for the weekend.  I try to make as much use of what little time I have once I get home, and the last thing I want to do is spend 3 hours in the kitchen after I get off work.
This recipe helps me accomplish serving a delicious, healthy and satisfying meal to my family without keeping me in the kitchen for hours.  To make the meal assembly even faster, I boiled and shredded the chicken Sunday afternoon then stored it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.  Once the day came to make these stacked enchiladas, it was simply a matter of chopping a few items then layering the ingredients and baking.
These enchiladas are different than most since the ingredients are layered, rather then each tortilla being individually stuffed and rolled up.  It makes the preparation and assembly process a lot easier, making this the ideal meal for busy families.  This is also an ideal recipe for hellp from those little helpers.  My son loves being in the kitchen with me, and since this is just a simple layering process why not let the kiddos come in and help sprinkle some meat and cheese!
This meal is so simple but huge in flavor.  I think the salsa verde packs so much flavor, that there really isn't need for a lot of extra spices and seasonings.  Pair that with delicious, moist shredded chicken, gooey melted Monterey Jack and salty feta with a hefty helping of fresh chopped cilantro and sweet red onion and you've got a meal that will please your whole family!       

Salsa Verde Stacked Chicken Enchiladas
Ingredients:

3lb Chicken thighs*
2 Tbsp salt
15 Corn tortillas
4 Cups (approximately 32 oz) salsa verde, homemade or store bought
1 lb Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/4 Cup finely diced red onion
1/2 Cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 Cup crumbled queso anejo cheese or other crumbly, salty cheese such as feta

Directions:

Place chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water.  Add salt and cover.  Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Allow the chicken to simmer about 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.  Drain chicken and allow to cool until cool enough to touch.  Remove the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin.  Shred the chicken and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour 1 cup of salsa verde in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly.  Place a layer of tortillas (approximately 4) over the salsa verde, tearing one in half to form a complete layer.  Top with 1 cup of chicken, 1 cup of shredded cheese, and 1 Cup salsa verde.  Repeat the layering process with the remaining ingredients, ending wtih tortillas.  Top with remaining salsa verde and jack cheese. 

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and place back in the oven and bake until cheese is bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with red onion, cilantro and queso anejo or feta.  Serve immediately.

*For even less prep time use Rotisserie or grilled frozen chicken.

Recipe source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma  

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