Enchiladas Gone Wrong

Quarantine cooking is a real thing! Not only are we having to rely on our pantry, we are having to make what we are able to buy go as far as it can. To this end a rotisserie chicken is perfect, you can have chicken and some sides as one meal, take the rest of the chicken off the bones and put it aside and use the bones to make broth!

As I have already discussed I have been making chicken stock by the gallon since the world went mad so I am going thru rotisserie chickens at the rate of 2 per week, my freezer has one whole shelf of chicken parts, 6 gallons of stock, we have had chicken tortilla soup that fed the two of us, the kids once, my mom twice and there is some in the freezer, chicken nachos and the enchiladas.

I love the Oklahoma version of Mexican food; the tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, empanadas, burritos, all of it!! In these times of quarantine one has to have food delivered and Mexican doesn’t travel well and the mark up makes it expensive so I decided to make my own. I have done this before, they are mostly semi-homemade and relatively stress free, add some beans and rice and Presto! you have On The Border in you living room! Also in these times of Q everyone is getting creative and buying what is available and tortillas were not plentiful the day I was shopping so I chose “wraps” that I have had/used before and didn’t anticipate any problems.

The inspiration for this dish came from the green chili soup that I have been trying to recreate, I thought if the soup was good I could make some a bit thicker and use it as enchilada sauce instead of buying some. I have the chicken and sauce on hand so I only needed to shop for the tortillas and the cheese for this meal, this normally wouldn’t have been an issue but again I under estimated what everyone else was shopping for so I got the wraps and shredded cheddar cheese. Regular tortillas and pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese would have been better, queso fresco or cotija cheese would have been best.

I heated the chicken up with about 1/2 cup of the soup and mixed 1/2 cup broth with 2 teaspoons of corn starch and added that to the rest of the soup to thicken it up to more of a sauce consistency than soup. I also put about 1/2 cup of the soup in the bottom of my casserole dish that I cooked the enchiladas in. Just like lasagna the first layer of enchiladas needs to be sauce so that the tortillas have some liquid to cook in and not stick and burn.

I started the oven at 350 while I built the enchiladas. I filled my tortillas with the chicken and some cheese and rolled them up and put them in the dish in a single layer, I had enough to fill 2 8×8 dishes. I topped them with another layer of sauce, making sure to get all of the edges covered so they didn’t burn and sprinkled cheese down the middle of them just like in every picture ever taken of an enchilada and covered them with fancy non stick aluminium foil and popped them in the oven for 45 or so minutes.

While the enchiladas are baking I made some Spanish style rice and seasoned black beans and chopped some fresh tomato to go on top.

Here is where the let down come in. Once my little rolls of love had been baked I took off the foil and let them sit and chill for a minute while I set the table and dished the rice and beans. When I went to dish up the enchiladas I realized that something was terribly, horribly wrong. I had produced the saddest, soggiest, mushiest enchiladas ever. The wraps had turned into some kind of gummy, sticky coating that was smothering the chicken and was topped with some kind of greasy, gooey cheese like substance.

Heartbroken doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings! Sweet Mary that spongy, wet bread consistency of the wraps, the slime and grease of the cheese! We ended up scraping the chicken out and just eating that with the beans and rice. Jimmy was very sweet about it, suggesting ideas for re-purposing the leftovers into something else- the chicken did get added to the chicken tortilla soup- and saying more than once that it had great flavor. Bless him!

The take away from this is that wraps are tortillas but tortillas are not wraps! Turning the soup into a sauce was a great idea! Reheating the chicken with some of the soup was a brilliant way to add an extra layer of flavor! Don’t be afraid to try! Just because something doesn’t come out perfect doesn’t mean it is a complete loss!

Don’t be afraid to try! Happy Cooking! Thanks ya’ll!!


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