Less Fuss Enchiladas aka Enchilada Lasagna

Enchilada Lasagna - At Dana's Table

Enchilada Lasagna - At Dana's Table

I should be ashamed to admit it, but while I made dinner tonight my husband had on Bad Moms.  Oh boy, did I enjoy that movie and laugh way more than I should and would love to emulate some (but not all!) of their behavior.  Because I have to admit, these days I’m feeling like one of those hollow shell people.  I’m pooped and the idea of letting loose and having a good time or just speaking my mind to some folks is appealing.  But, that’s all I’ll say about that.

Tonight’s dinner was a winner.  It’s billed as a “no fuss” enchilada dinner.  Well….. I would say it’s less fuss.  Not entirely fuss free, but not a debacle either.  These enchiladas are made into a lasagna instead of rolled which makes them far easier to manage and eat.  What I also enjoyed while I made this, is that I realized that it would make a perfect food gift, i.e. to bring to a new mom or family event, to a pot luck, and so on.  Especially if given with a side salad.  And maybe some frozen cookie dough balls, but I’ll write about that for a different post (soon).  

This dinner uses either rotisserie chicken, poached chicken, or in my case a roasted chicken with some smokey chipotles (which I can’t get enough of these days).  Truthfully, I think roasted chicken bests every other kind of chicken.  I did the same thing I always do: dry the chicken inside and out with paper towels (so that it doesn’t steam), rub the chicken with butter and olive oil (to properly brown), and sprinkle with salt and pepper inside and out.  Today I also added smoked paprika, but it’s not necessary in this application.  I just like it.  There are many other flavoring possibilities but since the enchilada sauce is so flavorsome, you don’t have to do much.  I roasted it at 425 for 1 hr and 15 minutes.  It was about a 4 lb chicken.  [If you’d like more detailed instructions, here’s Ina’s .] Then of course I shredded the meat when it was cool.  [And I can use the carcass for chicken stock] That being said, it’s perfectly fine to buy a rotisserie chicken or to poach a few chicken breasts instead.  The lasagne will be delicious.

Once you have your chicken settled, the garlic and onion are broiled to a slight char and encourage a smokey flavor that my palate craves so much right now.  A phase?  I don’t know, but I’m really loving it.  The the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and chipotles are simmered until the onions are soft.  Then they’re blitzed either with a hand blender or a standing blender to create the sauce.  That’s it.  That’s the extent of the fuss.  Once that’s all done, you’ll begin your easy peasy lasagna layering with the chicken, sauce, scallions, cilantro, and of course cheese.

Enchilada Lasagna - At Dana's Table
Eat me! I’m delicious!

This is another supper completely inspired by dear Ali, via Food 52, and she in turn saw it in the Wall Street Journal.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 rotisserie chicken or 1 roasted chicken (as described above), shredded
  • 1yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 28-oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 chipotles in adobo plus some of their sauce – depends on how hot you like your sauce
  • 15 (ish) corn tortillas (it depends on how big they are and how you layer them – mine were 6″ tortillas – also, I really liked the corn vs. flour tortillas in this)
  • ounces grated cheese, such as Monterey Jack or sharp Cheddar (I used Monterey Jack and a little Pepper Jack)
  • bunch cilantro
  • 6-8 scallions (I used 8, the original recipe called for 6)
  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Place onions and garlic on a small sheet pan and season with salt all over. Broil until well charred in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from broiler and set aside. Set oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  3. Place tomatoes, charred onions and garlic, ½ cup water, and 1 to 2 chipotles in adobo (depending on heat tolerance). Bring liquid to a simmer and cook until onions soften, about 7 minutes. Off heat, use a handheld blender or standing blender to purée to a thick, smooth, uniform sauce, taking care with hot liquid. Set sauce back over low heat and gently simmer to keep warm.
  4. Coat bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Arrange a single layer of tortillas over sauce, trimming edges to fit. Add chicken to the pot with the remaining sauce.
  5. Spoon a thin layer of sauce/chicken over tortillas and top with a loose layer of grated cheese. Sprinkle over some cilantro and scallions. Continue layering tortillas, sauce and chicken, cheese, scallions, herbs until dish is nearly full. End with a layer of tortillas, a layer of sauce and a final layer of cheese. You should have three layers of tortillas.
  6. Bake enchiladas on top rack of oven until cheese topping bubbles and browns in spots, 15-20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and scallions and serve immediately.
    1. Dana says:

      Ha! Yes, you do. Ali, thank you so much for the dinner inspiration, as always! You have shaped my kitchen cookery and mentality more than anyone.

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