It’s the week of the Super Bowl and if you haven’t already planned what you will be making, these Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas would be a good choice whether you’re watching or not. The recipe was inspired by one a dear friend gave me many years ago and my grown up kids know them very well.
The filling, sauce and cooking the tortillas can be done a bit ahead so you won’t be distracted during game time. After a quick assembling they bake for just 20 minutes – perfect for a half time meal.
Homemade enchilada sauce is easy and worth making. You control the spices – the pinch of cinnamon is my favorite. For the cooked chicken, I’m in the habit of simmering boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a water with a pinch of salt, a few black peppercorns and a bay leaf for flavor. Once cooked and cooled, I either shred or chop the chicken. You can make it even easier on yourself by using the meat from a store bought roasted chicken. Be sure to take the time to cook the corn tortillas before rolling them with the filling. I find they crack while rolling if I do not do this step.
If you’re hosting, ask guests to bring tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream and salsa to go with the enchiladas. I even like finely chopping iceberg or romaine lettuce for sprinkling on top or as a bed underneath the enchiladas. Chopped fresh cilantro and green onions are good additions too.
- Chicken Filling:
- 3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained, rinsed and drained again
- ⅓ cup chopped green onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Enchilada Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
- Vegetable spray or vegetable oil
- 10 yellow corn tortillas (6-inch size)
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- For the filling: stir together chicken, black beans, green onions, cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper.
- For the enchilada sauce: in a saucepan over low heat, cook garlic in vegetable oil just to release flavor but do not brown, about 1 minute. Whisk in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and then flour to cook and release flavors about 1 minute. Whisk in tomato sauce and chicken broth and increase heat to medium, stirring until sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- For softening the tortillas (this makes it so they do not break apart when rolling them with the filling): spray a skillet with vegetable spray and heat over medium heat. Cook both sides of tortillas about 15 seconds just to heat and to soften, re-spraying as needed (a light coating of vegetable oil in the pan can also be used).
- To assemble enchiladas: Spread about ¾ cup enchilada sauce (to make a thin layer) in the bottom of a baking dish. Lay tortilla on a flat surface and spread with 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce; add a heaping ⅓ cup chicken filling down the center and roll up; place seam side down in the dish; repeat with remaining tortillas. Spoon remaining enchilada sauce over rolled tortillas; sprinkle with cheese.
- To bake the enchiladas: preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake enchiladas until heated through, sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, about 20 to 25 minutes.