Creamy "Work Week" Chicken Enchiladas

There are endless combinations for individualizing your chicken enchiladas, depending on your time constraints and the palates of your table. In my opinion, that's pretty cool. 

Today, I had the "super picky" crowd (who wants to see zero veggies inside), and limited time, so I cheated my way through this... which is what a lot of moms do during the busy work week.  And that is TOTALLY fine, as it still puts a hot, home cooked meal on the table, costs less, and is healthier than eating out!  Also, these enchilada freeze wonderfully (if they make it that far).. they usually end up on the "bring lunch to the office" list.

Ingredients:
  • Cheater ingredient of the day.... I picked up a hot rotisserie chicken on the way home.  This will save me LOTS of time! If you use this, obviously skip the chicken prep.  The home cooked chicken will probably be more flavorful, but tonight is about speed.
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts – cut into 1" cubes. 
  • 1 Tbsp butter 
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped onion 
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles 
  • 4-5 oz softened, reduced fat cream cheese 
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream 
  • 8 - 10 flour tortillas 
  • 1 cup *grated Cheddar cheese 
  • 1 -2 cups *grated Monterey Jack cheese with jalepeno peppers 
    •  You can also use the mixed “Mexican cheese blend” cheese instead of two separate cheeses.
  • 1 cup prepared, jarred salsa 
  • cumin to taste
  • Salt and pepper
    • Optional - red enchilada sauce and green salsa verde for extra color and flavor if you like; sour cream, tomatoes and cilantro for garnish. 
    • In my "make them for me, not the kids" fantasy, I would add some corn niblets and some rinsed/drained black beans to the mixture just before rolling them up.  This would add additional flavor, texture, fiber and the Yum factor!  But I don't think it would go over that well with this tough crowd.
Method:

For those starting with raw chicken:

Lightly season chicken.  Cook the chicken first. I usually either poach them (season the water with salt, pepper, a little poultry seasoning, then boil the chicken until just done; no longer pink and clear in middle) or pan saute them in a little butter/olive oil.  But please don’t overdo the chicken b/c it will be dry.  

For everyone:

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Add onion and saute’ until translucent.  

Add the green chiles and cook along with the softened onions a few minutes.  At this point, if you have really picky people, you can blend the onions and chilis in a mini-food processor until smooth.  For an adult "audience," leave it chunky. 

Add the salsa and cream cheese to the onions and chilis, and stir constantly over med-low until blended. 

Add the chicken (either rotisserie chicken or home cooked). Okay, so it probably doesn't look that great right now, but it will taste yummy.

Add half of the cheeses.  Stir to blend.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Then season with cumin.  This will amp up the Mexican flavor. 

Remove from heat or turn down to very low.  Soften tortillas if needed according to package directions (I usually put them between two damp paper towels on a plate and microwave for like 10 seconds – makes them nice and soft and pliable so they won’t crack and tear.  But if they are soft and pliable, skip this step.

Place about 3 Tbsp of filling in the center of each tortilla. 

Roll up tortillas and place, seam side down, in a greased, 2-qt casserole dish (can also use 9x13x2 dish). 

Pour whipping cream over enchiladas. It will cook down, thicken, and get all bubbly.

You can go directly to the "cheese step" or add some different sauces on top. This time, I added red enchilada sauce on some of them (yep - out of the can), then some salsa verde on others.  You can totally leave it white if you want.

Top with remaining cheese.  If it were up to me, they would ALL have LOTS of cheese, but one of mine is a cheese-a-phobe, so I try to accommodate everyone.

Bake uncovered at 350oF for 25 min or until hot and bubbly.  Top with your favorite garnishes and dig in!