Modern Comfort Food is here and just in time for a fall/winter season that is sure to be a doozy. As Ina Garten writes in the book, “Food has an almost magical ability to comfort us, soothe us, and bring us together in so many ways.” We wholeheartedly agree and there are so many great recipes in Ina Garten’s latest Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, it was hard to choose where to start! Everyone in our family loves Mexican food, so we started with Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas and let me tell you it was a HUGE hit. It’s a fairly classic Mexican dish, but of course, Ina gives it a delicious twist!
These Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are warm and delicious, and I think they are the perfect comfort food. We are big fans of enchiladas and I have always wanted to know how to make enchilada sauce from scratch, so I was super excited to try this recipe. The combination of the fire-roasted and crushed tomatoes with the other spices creates a complex flavor in the sauce that really escalates the dish. I like this sauce so much that next time, I will definitely make a double batch and freeze it in our 32oz Plastic Containers.
Initially, I was surprised to read that Ina adds goat cheese to the roasted-chicken filling, but of course it was SO good. As I filled the tortillas and rolled them up, I placed them in the Rectangular Roaster. All of the enchiladas fit snuggly, which was perfect. Like Ina, I placed the roaster over a half sheet pan in the oven, to avoid a mess in case it bubbled over.
I took the dish out of the oven and simply placed it on a wood board in the middle of the table and everyone helped themselves. The glaze on the Rectangular Roaster has heat retention properties which noticeably keeps food warmer for longer. We used the Hotel Silver Kitchen Spoon to serve right from the pan. Let me tell you, it does not get better than this.
Next time, I will probably make this on a Sunday and have it ready to go for a weekday meal! The recipe says that you can keep it refrigerated for up to a day and then go right to a 350-degree oven to bake for 40-45 minutes. This would be an amazing weeknight meal! I hope you try and let us know what you think.
2 pounds chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on, (3 split)
Good olive oil - Olio Santo Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground chipotle powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes, such as San Marzano
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in your hands
1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion (1large)
½ cup seeded and small-diced poblano pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup minced fresh parsley or cilantro, plus extra for garnish
7 (8-inch) flour tortillas
7 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as Montrachet
2 cups freshly grated extra-sharp white Cheddar (6 ounces)
Sour cream, for serving
2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chicken on a sheet pan skin side up, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until a thermometer registers 140 degrees. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside for 15 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken to bite-sized pieces.
Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for one minute, then whisk in the chili powder, chipotle powder, and cumin. Add the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, oregano, and 1 tablespoon salt, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium (10 to 11-inch) sauté pan, add the onion and the poblano pepper and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Off the heat, stir in the shredded chicken, black beans, parsley, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper and set aside.
To assemble, spread 1 cup of the sauce in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Lay one tortilla on a board and spread it with 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Spoon ¾ cup of filling down the middle of the tortilla. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on the filling. Roll the tortilla up tightly and place it seam side down I the baking dish. Repeat to make 6 more enchiladas and place them snugly side but side in the dish. Spread the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with Cheddar.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with sour cream and avocados.