Sunday, March 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Chikcen Enchiladas

This is my super-easy slow-cooker chicken enchilada recipe. Now, the enchiladas themselves don't cook in the slow cooker (that would be a goopy mess), but the meat and sauce do. This Southwestern chicken isn't just for enchiladas. It would be perfect for chicken tacos, burritos, Mexican pizza or a chicken taco salad. It would also be great for sandwiches or in a chicken tortilla soup.
Here's what you'll need to make it the meat.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs,  1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, an onion, 4 cloves of garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, ground cumin, oregano plus salt and pepper.  To assemble the enchiladas later you'll need tortillas, cheese and beans if you want them.
Start by chopping the small onion and the garlic.
Put them in a microwave safe container like this Pyrex cup.
Now add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of chili powder, 2 teaspoons or cumin and a teaspoon of oregano. Sprinkle with salt and add about a teaspoon of oil. Stir to combine.


Cover with plastic and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and put back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. It should come out looking like this: You'll really be able to smell the fragrance of the spices. Do not skip this step and dump the aromatics and spices into the slow cooker. It's very important for the flavor.
Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and add them to the slow cooker. You might be tempted to go with chicken breasts, but I don't suggest it. They will dry out.
Add the spice mixture to the chicken.
Then add the can of tomatoes. If you don't like the spice from the Ro-Tel you can just use a 14 ounce can of plain diced tomatoes. My tomatoes were actually frozen. I freeze unused portions of cans in freezer bags and use them at a later date.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. When it's done, it will look like this.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the thighs and about half of the tomatoes to a bowl.
Shred the chicken with a fork or spoon. It will pull apart easily.
Now put the remaining liquid and tomatoes from the slow cooker in a blender or food processor. You could also stick an immersion blender in the slow cooker as well.  Don't worry if there's a stray piece of chicken.
Blitz and you'll end up with a nice thickened sauce. Obviously, put the lid on before you turn on the blender. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Pull out a pan for your enchiladas. I'm using a 9 x9 to hold 5 here.
Coat the bottom with sauce to hold the enchiladas in place.
Use flour or corn tortillas as you prefer.
Start by filling the tortilla with the shredded chicken and tomato mixture.
Add beans, if desired.
Then a sprinkle of cheese. We'll top with more at the end.
Fold it up.

Place in the pan seam-side down. I was careless here and spilled some beans and cheese into the pan.
Tuck them snugly together.
 Spread the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas.
Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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