Saturday, 16 November 2013

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas

I am in love with Mexican food.  Really, truly, deeply in love with it.  I clip and save recipes for Mexican foods that I can in no way ever eat--not just a few recipes, but rather, hordes of them.

And every now and then, I am tempted to convert them into a more paleo-appropriate version because very few of the Mexican foods I crave are in any way appropriate to eat.

This is just one attempt.  And yes, it IS delicious.  Or WAS delicious, because we ate it all up.

Now, you can make any kind of paleo-ified tortilla you want.  I've tried them all--thin omelettes, plantain tortillas, cauli-bread tortillas--but by far, the tortilla that Orleatha Smith at makes are THE BEST.  Her tortillas are one of the absolute best paleo-converted foods I've eaten to date--and one that helps me to stay away from corn and grains when these Mexican cravings hit.  The recipe I've linked to makes 4 tortillas--so I had to triple it.  If you've never made a tortilla from scratch before, and do not own a tortilla maker (I don't)--divide the dough into 4 balls and cover them with saran wrap to keep moist until you roll them.  Roll them between 2 pieces of parchment paper--remember to always work from the middle of the dough outward, just like pastry.  Loosen the top piece of paper, putting the top piece back on, flip and loosen the bottom paper, so that when you flip the whole thing into the frypan, it comes free without tearing apart.  There's a knack to it that you'll get quickly, trust me.  Fry them up and set them aside until it's time to assemble this dish.  If you're smart, you'll prep these on a Sunday and slide them into a ziplock bag and keep em in the fridge until you're ready for them.  If you're not inclined to make this recipe tripled, you could easily make one batch of the tortillas, dividing the dough into only 3 balls (making 3 larger tortillas) and bake up a bbq chicken enchilada pie, like my original Beef Enchilada Pie here, or you could double the tortilla recipe and make a bbq chicken lasagna casserole.  No one will judge you.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I saw in Kraft, here.  They do take such nice pictures, don't they?

The recipe took me about 1 1/2 hours total.  That includes de-boning the chicken (and making me some cracklin's with the skin), making quick tomato sauce and bbq sauce, and tortilla-making time.  If you're tortillas are already assembled, it takes about 40 minutes.

Serves 5-6.

Here's what I did...


1 1/2 c tomato sauce (see cheat #1, below)
1/2 c bbq sauce (see quick recipe cheat #2, below)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken
2 green peppers
1 onion
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
12 paleo tortillas (here)
1 cup cheddar cheese, optional

plain yogurt, salsa, and guacamole for garnish


First, make your sauces (instructions below).  Debone and chop your chicken.   Chop your onion and green peppers.  Heat your large skillet to med-high and saute the onions in a bit of fat.  When the onions are translucent, add your chicken, spices, and both the sauces.  Turn the heat to medium and cover, poaching the chicken for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.  Stir in peppers and half the cheese, then set aside.

While your chicken is poaching, heat up a non-stick skillet (preferably ceramic) and cook up your tortillas, rolling the next one as the first one is cooking.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Pull out your lasagna dish.  Spoon a bit of the sauce from your chicken enchiladas into the bottom of the dish and spread it around.  Just a bit.  Now, ladle about one heaping spoonful into each tortilla, roll, and place seam-side down in the casserole dish, pushing them tight against each other as you go along.  If you have extra meat and filling when you're done assembling, spoon it around the tortillas.  Spoon any excess sauce overtop of the tortillas and spread it around.  Top with remaining cheese.

Bake in oven 15 minutes until heated through.

Serve with garnishes!

Cheat #1:  Don't have tomato sauce in your cupboard or tomatoes in your freezer?   Take 1 5-oz can of tomato paste, add 1 1/2 cans water, a couple of shakes garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano.  It will seem watery, but as you cook it, it will thicken quickly.

Cheat #2:  Easiest bbq sauce ever!  I saw this recipe on Practical Paleo, here, and can't get over how easy and tasty it is!  I basically took 1 can tomato paste and added an almost equal amount of balsamic vinegar to it, a few shakes garlic powder, onion powder, and chipotle powder, and threw it in the fridge (where it will thicken up quite a bit).  It makes roughly a cup worth, so you'll have some leftover to experiment with after this recipe.

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