Of all the dishes I make the one that keeps getting requested are my chicken and black bean enchiladas. I have two clients who request it for every cook-date. My friend Kaite has repeatedly asked me for the recipe and I keep putting her off. Not because I’m stingy with my recipes, but because I don’t actually have a recipe.
So for Kaite I will try to put it down in writing. It won’t be in traditional recipe format, because that’s not the way I generally cook.
First, I stew a chicken, depending on what’s on sale and what kind of diet my client is I use either a whole chicken or chicken breasts. If it’s a low fat client I take off the skin and only use white meat. (If using a whole chicken be sure to remove the giblets and such, it will make it bitter) I put a large pot of water on the stove and fill it with a couple of carrots, a large white or yellow onion, a couple of stalks of celery, some sprigs of thyme, a palm full of peppercorns and of course chicken. There is no need to peel the vegetables, just cut them so they fit in the pot. I let this come to a boil and then turn it to a slow simmer for a couple of hours or until the chicken is falling apart. Then I take it off the heat and let the chicken cool completely in the broth (this will keep it very tender) Once it’s cool I shred the chicken with a fork. I strain the liquid and use the broth for my enchilada sauce and freeze the rest for recipes.
First of all the two secrets to my sauce are powdered cocoa and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can get cans of these at most grocery stores in the Mexican food section. They are really spicy so only use one, or at the most, two peppers and about a tablespoon of the sauce.
¼ cup of oil
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
¼ cup of oil
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon oregano
3 cups reserved chicken broth (can use vegetable broth)
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
One canned chipotle pepper with sauce.
In a sauce pan, make a rue with about ¼ cup of oil and 3 tablespoons of flour. Add the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers and spices and add chicken broth to desired consistency. Simmer for about 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Black bean and chicken filling.
I blend one can of black beans (rinsed), 1 can of diced chiles, 2 cups of shredded chicken, 1 Tablespoon of cumin, ½ cup of finely chopped white onions and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro.
You will also need a couple of cups of shredded cheese. I use whatever I have on hand, but a jack and cheddar combo is ideal.
Make your enchilada
This is the messy part. In a small skillet heat ¼ cup of oil. Dip the tortillas in the oil until pliable (don’t fry them) then drag through the sauce and place in a baking pan or casserole dish. Fill with a couple of tablespoons of chicken mixture and 1 tablespoon of cheese and roll the tortilla seamed side down, repeat process until you have filled up your pan. Pour remaining sauce over the tortillas, top with cheese. I like use Cotija which is a Mexican parmesan, but any cheese will do. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until cheese melts.
So Kaite, there it is. Enjoy!