Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas with Creamy Verde Sauce


 Growing up, my Mom used to make this delicious creamy chicken Verde layered casserole that I would ask for constantly! Now as an adult I make it for my husband and myself, but I like to put a healthier twist on it (sorry Mom). I've taken out the Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soup(oh the chemicals!) and substituted them for a healthier homemade sauce that is absolutely to die for! I recommend making a double batch of this recipe and freezing one because your family will be begging for it again! If you want to do that, I would buy a disposable baking dish at the store so you don't have to worry about your baking dishes being used in the freezer if you don't have them to spare.
Here is the line up:
Cilantro- 1/3 cup chopped
Fresh chopped garlic- 2-3 cloves depending on your taste
Butter- 1 1/2 tablespoons
Cooked Chicken- 2 cups shredded
Avocado- 3 (more depending on how much you want in yours)
Lime- 2-3 wedges
Reduced sodium chicken broth (or Veg if you want to make this a veg recipe)- 1 cup
Cumin- 2 teaspoons
Flour-1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper- to your liking
Plain Greek Yogurt- 1/2 cup
Jar of Salsa Verde- (I love Trader Joe's version)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
5 Tortilla's
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. I like to start by having everything prepared and chopped before I start cooking. So chop up your garlic, cilantro, lime wedges and chicken. I personally like to buy the precooked chicken that Costco sells for recipes like this. And it is great to keep on hand for quick salads or easy week night meals. Some of the ones you buy at the grocery store are slimy and taste a little funky, but the bags Costco sells are much better in my opinion.
Once you are all chopped and prepped its time to start cooking! Get out your favorite deep pan, my happens to be my 12 inch Calphalon fryer I got from my wonderful friend's Natalie and Jason as a wedding gift. I love this pan because it is a pretty big size and it is also deep. I tend to do fifteen things at a time while cooking dinner and a deep pan helps keep my mess minimal.
Add the butter and minced garlic and let them cook together for about 2 min on medium heat. I use a gas stove and it tends to cook pretty quick so if you are new to cooking I would drop that heat down to just below medium so it cooks a little slower for you. Once those have cooked, you're going to want to add in the flour. Now this part might look a little funky, but the butter garlic and flour mixture will make a very thick ball like paste in your pan. Once that has happened you are going to add in your broth and whisk till you have minimal clumps (most likely the only clumps to remain will be the garlic). Allow this to bubble and cook and you will notice it start to thicken up a bit. Once it is thick you want to take it off the heat to add the rest of the ingredients. When I say thick, don't worry if it isn't super thick, it should have a spaghetti sauce consistency (Don't be intimidated  by the "homemade" part of this sauce, it is so easy I promise!)
Once you have taken your pan off the heat, add in your Greek yogurt, salsa Verde, cilantro, cumin, juice of the lime wedges, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk all those colors together and your sauce is done! See that was easy! This tends to be the part where I'm rushing to finish making dinner while I'm packing lunches for the next day and end up making a mess on my stove, hence the nice deep pan : ) Once everything is mixed evenly you are ready to start putting your enchiladas together!
I like to make an assembly line for this part! Get out your favorite casserole dish and grease it down if it is not nonstick. I like to use my Pampered Chef stone baking dish for, well pretty much everything! I couldn't find one online but this stone baking dish I found on Amazon it pretty much the same thing. The Pampered Chef one is nonstick but mine is very old and well used and is no longer nonstick sadly. Side note: a lesson someone I've lived with at some point learned the hard way: DO NOT put nonstick in the dishwasher! It will no longer be nonstick : )
My rant aside, put a small amount of the sauce on the bottom of the pan like so
 To assemble your enchilada's start by putting a line of chicken in the center of the tortilla (as much as you want! Some people like skinny enchilada's some people like them fat like a burrito it's up to you!) I use about 1/4 cup of shredded chicken per enchilada. Once the chicken is on, put avocado slices on top and roll up your tortilla. Lay it in your pan with the fold of the tortilla on the bottom so it stays closed.  Continue this till you have used up all your chicken and avocado and run out of room in your baking dish. Like I said, mine held about 5 and they were pretty thick. Once you have them all in the dish, cover with your remaining Verde sauce and sprinkle with cheese. I just used sharp cheddar because that's what I had on hand, but I have used mozzarella, and Mexican blend before as well.
And yes, one side has a lot more cheese because I personally believe cheese makes everything amazing, but my husband does not agree so I go light on his half : ) Who did I marry?? Who doesn't like cheese?? 
Once you have the enchilada's all set to go, stick them in the oven and let them cook uncovered for 15 min. Take out the wonderful creamy gooey goodness and enjoy!
MMMmmm Doesn't that picture just make you drool? I'm so glad I was eating the leftovers while i wrote this post! Otherwise I might just have had to make them again tonight! If you want to make a vegetarian version of this, just substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth and instead of chicken you can use avocado and asparagus!
Bon Appetit Friends!

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