I have loved Mexican food for as long as I can remember. Enchiladas to be precise. You know when people remember exactly where they were when a great world event occurred? I recall exactly where I was when I had my first enchilada: the El Burrito restaurant. Not quite a dive, I’d call it a ‘Mexican food joint’. No frills, clean but with understated decor and completely authentic cuisine. I was in third grade I’d guess and it was the first Mexican food I’d tasted. It was love at first bite. An enormous ‘Enchilada Platter’ arrived with steaming refried beans, Spanish rice and three huge enchiladas smothered with melted orange and white cheese. The spicy sauce brought light perspiration just underneath my eyes. It was heaven.
Fortunately becoming gluten-free did not take a big hit to my consumption of Mexican food due to the use of corn tortillas or the easy substitution of them in dishes traditionally using flour tortillas. The thing to check on are the sauces when eating out at a Mexican restaurant. Green chile sauce, and often red chile too, almost always have flour in them. When I run into that I ask the sauce be replaced with salsa which addresses the problem. Of course when cooking it at home you are in control of the ingredients and can ensure everything is gluten-free. I also love how flexible Mexican food is, allowing easy substitutions for those dairy-free, vegetarian, soy-free and nut-free as well.
Today I’m serving up Chipotle Green Chile Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas; doesn’t that sound great?! They are smoky, spicy, sultry, filling and delicious. With healthy ingredients (including store-bought gluten-free enchilada sauce) homemade Mexican food is definitely adaptable to be gluten-free without having to forego the traditional key ingredients and signature flavors from enchilada sauce, chipotle en adobo or green chilies. Ready in well under an hour this recipe will undoubtedly become a favorite go-to easy enough for busy weeknights and fun for lazy weekends! They can be dressed up by topping it with some salsa, guacamole, sour cream and a sprinkling of torn cilantro or eaten just as they are.
Chipotle Green Chile Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 pound Boneless , Skinless Chicken Breasts
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoons Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 medium Red Onion , chopped
- 1 large Garlic Cloves , minced
- 1 cup Corn Kernels , fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1 15- ounce can Black Beans , rinsed and drained
- 2 4- ounce cans Diced Green Chilies
- 5 canned Chipotle Peppers en Adobo , chopped
- 2 15- ounce cans Red Enchilada Sauce (I used Hatch brand Gluten-Free)
- 1 ½ cups grated Mild Cheddar Cheese
- 1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 12 Corn Tortillas , fresh at room temperature
- Optional Toppings: Torn cilantro leaves , sour cream, salsa, guacamole, sliced scallions, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Mix to fully combine.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter to melt. While the butter is melting, rub all sides of the chicken breasts with the spice mix using it up.
- When the butter has melted, lower the heat to medium and place the chicken breasts into the skillet. Allow the breasts to cook uncovered for 3 minutes; flip and cook on the opposite side for 3 more minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and cover. Allow chicken to sit undisturbed for 8-10 minutes (if using thicker breasts they will take 10 minutes or even 12 minutes). After the time has elapsed cut into the breast to check for doneness. The chicken should be cooked through but very moist. If chicken is done, shred by hand and set aside. If not replace the lid and allow it to sit a few more minutes until cooked through then shred. Reserved pan juices.
- Reheat the skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until translucent about 4 minutes.
- Add the corn, beans, green chilies, chipotle chilies, ¾ cup of the enchilada sauce and the shredded chicken. Bring to a low boil and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow absorption of the liquid.
- While the mixture cooks, spoon ¾ cups of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish. Spread to cover the bottom.
- Prepare the tortillas: to make the tortillas pliable for rolling the enchiladas, place 3 at a time on a medium plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Repeat with 3 more after rolling 3 enchiladas. Note: I find microwaving the tortillas in small groups and using them before microwaving more keeps them warm and supple.
- Preparing the Enchiladas: Mix the cheeses together in a large bowl. Spoon 1/3 to ½ cup of filling into the middle of a prepared tortilla, making a line down the center spanning the width of the tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Gently fold one edge of the tortilla that is not covered with filling over the filling and then the opposite side over the middle enclosing the filling. Turn the enchilada upside down and place it seam down in the pan horizontally. You’ll be making two rows of 6 across the width of the pan (and if making them with less filling, can squeeze two more horizontally end to end between the two rows if desired; if so ensure the rows of 6 are touching the ends of the baking dish to allow room in the middle). Repeat until all the enchiladas are prepared.
- Spoon on the remaining enchilada sauce covering the tops of the enchiladas fully. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese evenly over the enchiladas. Place in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the enchiladas are warmed through.
- Serve immediately with options toppings for diners to customize their enchiladas to their liking!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.