Wednesday May 2, 2012

The goal was simple - a recipe for mole chicken enchiladas that tastes authentic, but doesn't take an authentic amount of time to prepare. And thanks to two easy time-saving tricks, it turned out to be easier than I expected.

The first was making the mole sauce (a rich, often chocolaty Mexican sauce that usually accompanies meat) using only widely available ingredients ( chances are you have all of them at home). Nothing fancy here, just tons of great flavor. No ancho chili powder? Use whatever variety of chili powder you have. For ease, the sauce is made in the blender.

The next trick is sparing yourself from needing to cook the meat. While the sauce heats, pluck the meat off a rotisserie chicken, then pull or cut it into bite-size pieces. That's it. Once the sauce has heated, you add the chicken, let it heat up, then you're done.

It's really that simple. Then it's just a matter of spooning it into corn tortillas and enjoying. Not a fan of corn tortillas? Use flour tortillas. In fact, get the larger ones, add more filling, then wrap them into mole chicken burritos.

Other than the cheese, no topping is needed for these enchiladas. But if you like, spoon on salsa or a drizzle of sour cream.


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WEEKNIGHT MOLE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS Start to finish: 30 minutes Servings: 4 1 small yellow onion, quartered 1 clove garlic 1 cup almond or peanut butter 1 cup water 1/2 cup chicken broth 1/2 cup diced tomatoes 1 slice soft sandwich bread 1 tablespoon hot sauce 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon Juice of 1 lime Salt and ground black pepper Meat from a 2-pound rotisserie chicken, pulled or chopped into bite-size pieces 8 corn tortillas 1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco cheese (shredded cheddar or Jack cheese can be substituted) In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, almond or peanut butter, water, broth, tomatoes, bread, hot sauce, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and lime juice. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a large saute pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often, and cook for 8 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken meat to the pan and stir well. Return to a simmer and cook just until the chicken is heated through.

Wrap the corn tortillas in a damp paper towel, then microwave for 20 seconds, or until tender.

One at a time, spoon some of the mole chicken filling down the center of each tortilla. Roll, then arrange on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Spoon a bit more of the filling over the rolled enchiladas, then crumble the queso blanco over them.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 730 calories; 420 calories from fat (58 percent of total calories); 47 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrate; 40 g protein; 7 g fiber; 780 mg sodium.