Friday, February 6, 2009
Authentic Mexican Chicken Enchiladas
I grew up on authentic Mexican food so I have a dislike for Tex-Mex Food. My dad is Mexican and my grandmother taught my mom some really delicious meals. The difference between Tex-Mex vs. Authentic Mexican food is in the intensity of the flavors and time spent cooking the meal. For those of you that don't know Mexican food was introduced to the Texas folks way back in the early 1900 hundreds when Mexicans crossed the border into Texas and what the Texans did was mix their flavors with the Mexican food and that is how it came to be Tex Mex. For instance, Fajitas is not Mexican food, it is Tex Mex. I remember some one once asking me "Don't you order Fajitas when you go to a Mexican restaurant?" As if that was the thing to order. I said no, in fact, I've never order Fajitas before, I've tasted my husbands order of them but I'm not a fan. I need lots of sauce in my Mexican food and I need to taste the combination of peppers. Tex-Mex version incorporates flavors that take away from the taste of the pepper. Usually a big chain of restaurants is what you will find in Tex Mex cooking and little small hole in the wall restaurants is where you will find your authentic Mexican food right down to the tortillas being made from scratch at a table right in front of you. I definitely do go to Tex Mex restaurants but I don't consider it Mexican food but rather American.
Authentic Enchiladas is a time consuming dish to make. There is one way to easily tell if you are eating authentic or Tex Mex enchiladas and that is by the color of the sauce and the texture. A very light color and loose sauce is Tex Mex and a dark color with a thicker sauce base is authentic. I make it from scratch, no can used condiments and a good 4-5 hour completion time. Well worth it and perfect to make on a cold and rainy day.
You start with your basic Chili Pod or if you want some real heat some Mexicali Chili Pods.
1.) First start off by taking out the stem and removing all seeds.
2.) Than toast in a pan, until slightly darken or dark spots appear on the chili pod
3.) Soak in some warm water for 2 hours or until soft. (do not boil them that will cause you to remove the roasted flavor from the chili pod and don't allow them to soak for more than 2 hours that too will remove the roasted flavor)
As this is soaking you can throw in a pot some water to cover all your boned chicken pieces about 8-12 pieces to serve 4-6 people. You can remove the fat first to get the sliminess off the chicken or you can remove the fat after you boil it, keep in mind you will be using this broth for the sauce.)
Add 4 TB of Chicken Bouillon. You will find this in the Mexican section of the grocery store. Add one chopped onion, 1 TB of garlic, Salt and pepper (to taste) bring this to a boil. When chicken flakes easily off the bone it's done. Let it cool. reserve chicken broth.
Back to the sauce: once the chili pods have softened add them to the blender, along with 5 chopped tomatillos , 1 Roasted Tomato , 4-6 roasted red peppers (depending on the heat you want) this is a semi hot taste add more for more heat and less for mild. Plus 1 TB Garlic, Salt, Pepper and 1 Cup of your cooked chicken broth in which you are cooking your chicken in. Blend. You should have a really nice medium dark red color thick sauce with specs of black from the roasted peppers. Once this is blended really good, add it to a large sauce pan and let it simmer, it will darken even more in the pan, if the sauce is too thick and it usually is add more chicken broth until it is a nice semi thick sauce.
Back to your chicken: remove fat and shred chicken from the bone. discard bones and fat. On a separate plate dice green onions, and cut slices of Ranchero cheese, you can also cut some radish and cabbage and scoop of sour cream if you like that as a topping.
Heat Oil in a small separate sauce pan, cover entire pan in oil as you are now going to deep fry your corn tortillas. Fry for 3-5 seconds until the tortilla hardens in the pan just slightly. Using your tongs, turn the tortilla over and fry the other side. Have your enchilada sauce in the burner next to it as you now will add the fried tortilla to the sauce and coat it on one side then turn quickly to coat the other side. If you leave it in the sauce too long it will break to pieces, you need to be quick about turning it. Using a large spoon to easily transfer tortilla to a plate that should be sitting on another one of your burners as this could get really messy. Add your shredded chicken, sliced cheese, onions and roll the tortilla quickly as it will be hot. Sprinkle with some Cotija cheese set aside to let the cheese melt. Repeat procedure until you have all of your enchiladas plated than top with cabbage, radish, sour cream and salsa. Goes good with a side of fried beans and cheese. I'm not a big rice fan but that is usually how it is served at restaurants.
Posted by Debbie at 1:57 PM