I’m nervous to cook a lot of things for a big party, but chicken enchiladas — chicken enchiladas I can do. My friends and I basically stole adopted the recipe from our resident chef in college, Hana Khan. I remember she used to bake tandoori chicken like it ain’t no thang and we all continued to be impressed with how she worked her way around the kitchen in those early years while we were still trying to figure out our left foot from our right.
The creamy enchiladas are pretty easy to make (thanks to some shortcuts), but it has a couple of moving parts. Rafia decided to make guacamole and corn esquites (creamy corn) to compliment the main course, and I think it all worked pretty well together! I also loved how she turned the shells of the avocados she used to make the guacamole as little holders for the corn (presentation, people!). Here are all the recipes:
(makes about 15 enchiladas)
1 lb Chicken breast
Red chili powder seasoning
8 oz tub of sour cream
2 Campbell’s cream of broccoli soup
Tortilla wraps (they usually come in packs of 8, so I get two of them)
Medium or hot salsa (depending on preference…I use medium just to be safe)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Canola oil (to fry chicken)
1. Cut chicken breast into small cubes and start seasoning with red chili powder and cajun seasoning right away. I just do it by eye, and make sure all the chicken is full coated, but think it’s about 2 tbs of each seasoning.
2. I then put it all in a Ziplock bag to marinate. I let it marinate overnight in the fridge. If you don’t have that much time, you can just let it sit for an hour or two.
3. In a sauce pan, pour canola oil (about 1/4 cup), and let it warm. Start frying the chicken once it’s warm. After frying all the chicken, place in a plate and keep aside til you make the sauce.
4. In a separate pan or pot, pour sour cream and cream of broccoli soup. Mix it together and warm til the sauce thickens. Then, add the chicken to the mixture.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350. Then use a rectangular baking pan (13×9-inch ones are ideal) for tortillas. Make sure the bottom is greased well.
6. Once the sauce/chicken mixture is ready, spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture and place a little in each tortilla. Fold over filling and roll up in the tortilla. Place tortilla in pan (seam down). Place each tortialla side by side in the pan.
7. Once each tortilla is placed side by side to fill the pan, take a spoon and spread the top with the salsa. Then, sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted on top.
CORN ESQUITES (CREAMY CORN)
1 pack of frozen corn
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons cojita cheese (or you can use crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese)
1 white onion
Olive oil (to sautee onions)
Cayenne pepper or ground chili powder, for sprinkling
1-2 jalapeno peppers
Salt, for sprinkling
Chop the white onion. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan and sautee onions. Then, add corn and continue to satuee and salt to taste. Next, add a cup of water, cayenne pepper and let it all cook until water evaporates. When corn is tender, mix in mayo, butter, jalapeno peppers and cilantro. Sprinkle with cheese.
4 ripe avocadoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced grape or cherry tomatoes (or mangoes if you’re feeling adventurous)
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
Coarsely chopped cilantro, to taste (about a 1 1/2 teaspoon)
Juice of one half lime (tip: you can grill it in a skillet (it enhances the flavor and warm limes produce more juice)
1/2 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder (or to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all the ingredients except the avocadoes, salt and pepper to give the flavors a chance to meld for a half hour or so. Mash the avocadoes with a fork so there are whole pieces of avocado and then gently fold in the other ingredients. Serve immediately.