Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese Review
3 stars (3.5 stars taste; 3 stars ingredient balance) (on a 5 star scale)
Disappointing. Decent but not particularly good. The chicken, since it's only tossed with the sauce, has no flavor of its own. There isn't nearly enough sauce to lend as much flavor to the enchiladas as I desire. I tried it with and without cheese and with and without sliced onions. Cheese definitely is important. Even the onion, intended to be "only" a garnish, adds something. Cilantro probably would have too, as the recipe suggested, though I didn't have any at hand. With these items contributing flavor, it's even more noticeable that the chicken only adds mass, not taste. If only it had been marinated or cooked in something...
Making the sauce was trouble. Simmering until it is the consistency of tomato paste is a mess because when bubbles break in a liquid that thick, they spray out of sauce pan. Also, simmering down to this stage took substantially longer (ten minutes longer?) than the recipe claims. Then one is supposed to add two cups of chicken broth. I only added one because that already made it more liquidy than enchilada sauce should be (in my opinion). Finally, when the recipe says to add salt to taste and estimates one and a half teaspoons, I found no salt was necessary. (Glad I tasted it first!)
Furthermore, the amount of sauce and chicken this recipe uses are entirely inappropriate. The half a pound of chicken made about seven corn tortillas, not the dozen the recipe claims. Also, the chicken needed more sauce than the recipe says, and the enchiladas needed lots more sauce than suggested. I used the sauce conservatively but it still only lasted about nine tortillas. Even if there were an extra cup of liquid in the sauce and even without a good amount of chicken (more chicken requires more sauce), I don't think the sauce could've lasted to the dozen tortillas the recipe claims.
After cooking more chicken in an attempt to use up my dozen tortillas and quickly running out of sauce, I tried substituting (bottled) taco sauce. This did not work. The taco sauce clashed with the enchilada sauce where they touched and in general the taco sauce didn't work well with the chicken. (I imagine it works much better with stir fried meats, not boiled ones.)
This recipe did teach me one good transferable skill: knowledge of how to make shredded chicken without a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken available: simply gently simmer a chicken breast for a few minutes (three to eight depending on thickness), then shred with a fork. Easy as pie.
I definitely prefer AllRecipes.com's Chicken Enchiladas recipe.