This dish had since become one of our family’s favorite dinners. Every time I make it, I get a thumbs up from the family. The corn tortillas add so much flavor and texture to the dish. It’s the perfect blend of spices and flavor. We love serving these alongside a nice big salad, like my kid friendly caesar salad.
This is also another great make ahead meal. This dish can be assembled up to 8 hours ahead of time; refrigerate, covered with tin foil or plastic wrap, until ready to bake (add a few minutes to the cooking time). You can also make the sauce ahead of time and cover and refrigerate it. Cook and shred the chicken and add the scallions and salt to it and refrigerate and cover till you’re ready to assemble the enchiladas. When its time to then make the enchiladas, all you have to do is warm up the tortillas and assemble the enchiladas.
chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce:
Recipe from Everyday Food
makes 8 enchiladas
- 2 decent sized chicken breasts, bone in, skin on or 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 jalapeno chile, quartered, ribs and seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil - or another high smoke-point oil such as peanut or canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the breasts for 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. I always use my meat thermometer here and take the chicken out when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º. Want to know a super cool trick for shredding chicken? I learned this step from my good friend Carolyn. While the chicken breasts are still pretty warm, (you really want them warm to hot for this next step to work) remove the skin from chicken and then using a knife, slice the chicken breast off of the bone.
Get out your kitchen aid mixer, throw the chicken breasts into the bowl and put your paddle attachment on.
Turn the mixer on to speed 4 and in approximately 20 seconds you will have shredded chicken. Super cool right? I didn’t believe it either till I saw it with my own eyes. See, now you can believe it as well because there’s proof in the below photo.
Note: The original recipe called for 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken so you can also use that if you wish. We’re not fans of dark meat in this house, so I always just roast up some breasts when a recipes calls for shredded or cubed chicken. I learned this trick from the Barefoot.
Note: For time efficiency, the chicken can be roasted and shredded up ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.
Once your chicken has been shredded, it’s time to start assembling the enchiladas. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees for the enchiladas.
As you know, I like to prep all my ingredients ahead of time, so lets get prepping! Slice up your scallions, peel your garlic, chop up your jalapeño chile and grate your fresh cheddar cheese (you can just buy the cheese grated as well).In a blender, add 2 1/2 cups water, the pumpkin puree, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and puree until smooth (hold top firmly as blender will be quite full).
I didn’t use all of my sauce here as I thought there was too much.
I poured what I thought was enough sauce and then threw away the rest, so just use your judgement here.Finish by topping the enchiladas with the sharp cheddar cheese.Bake the enchiladas uncovered in a 425 degree oven until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.