No time to cook!
As a county extension agent there is no busier time than county fair time. For a week, every day (and night) there is an important event needing my attention – home arts judging, 4-H Barbecue, Junior Livestock Sale, Wine & Beer competition and the list goes on. It’s an exhausting and fun time, but the family back home has to fend for themselves.
My guys are fully capable of feeding themselves while I’m at the Routt County Fair, but it’s always appreciated when I can have a meal in the refrigerator ready to go. Make Ahead Chicken Enchiladas are my go-to meal when I have no time to cook. Give it a try next time you want to have a meal ready to go when managing the busy times in your life,
- 3 tablespoon canola oil divided
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 tablespoons mild red chile powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 15 ounce tomato sauce
- 15 ounce water
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 12 corn tortillas 6-inch
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 tomato diced
- 1/4 cup diced green onion
- 1/3 cup light sour cream
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 12-inch nonstick frying pan, add onions and cook over medium heat until onions soften.
Add chile powder, coriander, cumin, sugar, garlic and salt; continue cooking for one more minute. Be careful to not let the garlic scorch.
Add the tomato sauce to the onion mixture, then fill the can with water and stir it to into the mixture. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
Place the chicken thighs in the sauce, then cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees. Turn the chicken halfway through the cooking process.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from sauce and let cool for 5 minute. Dice chicken into ½-inch chunks, then return the meat to the warm sauce.
Ready a 9 x 13-inch baking dish by spreading ½ cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Prepare the tortillas by brushing one side of each corn tortilla with the remaining oil and stacking them. Wrap stacks of 6 tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 45 seconds on high.
To assemble, spoon 1/3 cup of chicken and sauce across the center of a warm tortilla. Roll the tortilla tightly, and then place in the baking dish, seam-side down. Continue until all meat and tortillas are assembled into enchiladas and remaining the sauce has been reserved. (At this point the enchiladas can be covered and refrigerated or frozen for a later meal.)
Bake for 30 minutes, then add remaining sauce and cheese and continue to bake an additional 15 minutes.
Top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and green onion, then serve.