Over the weekend Scott and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all the mushy, gushy details, instead you get to hear about The Time Someone Scared the Crap Out Of Me.
I ran to the store for a couple groceries before our date night. Like any other normal trip to for groceries, I unlocked the car, loaded the bags in, entered my door, put my keys in the ignition and….saw something out the corner of my eye. I nearly had a heart attack when I looked up an saw a hispanic man standing outside my passenger window! He was holding a couple bags of homemade tamales and pointing at them with a big smile. Yes, he was asking if I wanted to buy them. I was so surprised I couldn’t do anything but shake my head and try to catch my breath. The man walked away and my heart rate slowly came down.
As I was driving home I started wondering things. Things like:
“is it safe to buy tamales in a parking lot?”
“I’ve had authentic, homemade tamales before, and they were goooood”
“Authentic, homemade tamales sound really good right now”
“I bet it’s probably safe to buy tamales in a parking lot.”
“I should have bought some tamales”
“Shoot. Now I NEED a tamale!”
Needless to say, we ended up going to a delicious Mexican restaurant for our anniversary dinner. And I got a tamale.
In honor of my near heart attack experience that sparked an intense craving for tamales, I’m sharing my favorite chicken enchiladas. I grew up on a completely different type of creamy chicken enchiladas, but these are my favorite for something more “authentic” and spicier (they’re not that spicy, promise). I’m particularly proud of this recipe because I can honestly say it is completely mine from scratch. I made it over and over and over to get things just right, and now I know it works. Enjoy!!
- 2 chicken breasts, cut in bite size pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. oregano
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 8-10 tortillas
- 1½-2 cups shredded cheese (colby jack, pepperjack, cheddar, monterey jack, etc)
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup salsa (I like Pace medium picante)
- ¼ cup red enchilada sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
- ½ tsp. lemon pepper or ground coriander
- ¾ cup green enchilada sauce
- ½ cup red enchilada sauce
- Extra cheese, if needed
- Heat coconut oil in large skillet. Add the raw, cut up, chicken. Sprinkle with garlic salt, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, pepper, and minced garlic. Stir to coat chicken evenly and cook over medium-high heat about 7 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through. Use spatula to break pieces into very small pieces (if desired).
- While chicken is cooking, combine cream cheese, salsa, red enchilada sauce, lime juice, lemon pepper, and extra garlic if using, in a medium bowl. Mix together. Add chicken into the bowl and stir to combine and coat chicken.
- To Assemble:
- Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
- Scoop about two spoonfuls of chicken mixture onto tortilla. Sprinkle a pinch of shredded cheese on top of chicken (about a tablespoon or two). Roll tortilla and place seam side down in pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Depending on how much chicken you scoop onto a tortilla will determine how many enchiladas you get.
- Pour the red enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas in the pan. Try to pour evenly over top. Repeat with the green enchilada sauce. You can add more sauce if desired. Sprinkle extra shredded cheese over top.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until sauce is hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
- **Feel free to spice it up by using hotter enchilada sauce, salsa, and pepperjack cheese. Also, add as much sauce on top of the tortillas as desired. I just don't like mine swimming in sauce. I use Tortilla Land uncooked tortillas (cooking before using) and they are the best!