It's not very often that Will actually requests I make something in particular for dinner. He usually will happily eat whatever I put in front of him and that's that. He's also not one for eating leftovers. So if he ever requests a certain dish I've made in the past, I consider that recipe a keeper; similarly, if he ever voluntarily pulls something out of the fridge to reheat, then I know that recipe is a keeper too.
These enchiladas are in a super-elite class of recipes that has earned "keeper" status by both measures. Come to think of it, I don't think there's another recipe that has passed both tests...
The real secret is using homemade enchilada sauce. It makes all the difference.
I also really like adding white beans. They're not only cheap and nutritious, but I love the creaminess they add to the filling.
With Will's birthday coming up, I wanted to make something extra special for dinner, and thanks to my "keeper" system, it was pretty easy to figure out what to make him.
Figuring out what to give him as a present is a-whole-nother story...
Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Lighter Chicken Enchiladas
Yield: 8 enchiladas (Serves 4)
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6-8 ounces each)
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, like Great Northerns or Navy, rinsed and drained
2 cups homemade enchilada sauce
8 corn & wheat tortillas
1 cup (4 ounces) Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
In a large skillet that has a tight-fitting lid, bring 1 inch of salted water to a boil; add chicken. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let the chicken steam, covered, until opaque throughout, about 12 to 14 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a medium bowl; shred with two forks. Add beans and 1 cup of enchilada sauce. Gently toss to coat the beans and chicken evenly.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 oven-safe casserole dish; set aside.
Stack tortillas on a plate and cover securely with plastic wrap; microwave until hot, about 1 minute. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture and lightly sprinkle with cheese; roll up tightly, and place, seam side down, in prepared casserole dish. Drizzle with remaining sauce, using a spoon to spread it evenly, and then cover with remaining cheese.
Cover casserole dish with aluminum foil; bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Topping ideas: sliced olives, sour cream, avocado, and green onions.