enchiladas from Saveur Magazine

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recipe: chicken enchiladas with red mole; (click on image for larger view and more photos)

enchiladas They don’t look pretty. I admit it. But we don’t care how they look. And if you could just taste these enchiladas, you wouldn’t care how they look either!

This is based on a really intriguing recipe for rabbit enchiladas in Saveur (Nov 2006) “Coming Home to Cafe Annie” by Margo True. I must say that I do like the way that Margo True writes! She absolutely compels one into trying at least one recipe. I suspect it isn’t a coincidence that this isn’t the first recipe from one of her articles that we’ve tried… (see mmm… cherry strudel)

I usually read Saveur on the subway, usually at rush hour. I love Saveur Magazine and generally read it cover to cover, slowly savouring (no pun intended – well, not much anyway) every word and photograph. It’s not always easy to turn the pages when I’m standing crushed up against 4 or 5 commuters. Dog-earing pages with interesting recipes is even more difficult. But somehow I manage. And after thoroughly embarrassing myself by openly salivating about various dishes in that issue, I finally brought the magazine into the kitchen, opened to True’s “Cafe Annie” article.

And so, this wonderful enchilada recipe has been on the stand in the kitchen beckoning to us since early December. I brought it to T’s attention from time to time but other things took precedence and it remained on the stand looking tantalizing. When the cold weather hit a couple of weeks ago, it was the perfect opportunity to finally try it – but with chicken thighs instead of rabbit.

It’s not that we’re opposed to eating rabbit or that rabbit is unavailable to us. I’m even sure that rabbit enchiladas are fabulous. It’s just that rabbit is quite a bit more expensive than chicken. So, being the cheapskates we are, we chose chicken.

And it was fantastic! I urge you to make this. It might look complex but really, it isn’t. Then dim the lights if the look of it puts you off. Grab a fork and tuck in. You won’t believe how great it is.

Rabbit Chicken Enchiladas With Red Mole

based on a recipe in Saveur Nov 2006 “Coming Home to Cafe Annie” by Margo True

  • safflower oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 c almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 jalapeno chiles, chopped
  • 2 morita chiles (dried smoked ripened jalapenos), chopped
  • 1/4 c Thompson raisins
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 14 six-inch corn tortillas (2 quartered; 12 whole)
  • 1 large ripe tomato, quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • water
  • 1/4 c roughly chopped unsweetened chocolate (about 1 oz.)
  • 2 c grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 c cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c plain yoghurt
  • coriander leaf for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a large pan over med heat. Brown chicken. Set aside.
  2. Add a little more oil to the pan and heat through. Add chopped nuts and fennel seeds to lightly toast – about 2 minutes. Add garlic and half the onions and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Add chiles and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add raisins, oregano, allspice, quartered tortillas and tomatoes. Cook until softened – another 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Put chicken back into the pan. Add water to cover chicken; season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked, about 35 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is cooking: In a small bowl, cream yoghurt into the softened cream cheese. Cover and set aside. (This mixture is to mimic creme fraiche and is a reasonable facsimile.)
  5. When the chicken is done, remove and set aside to cool. Puree the onion mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer it back to the pan. Add chocolate and bring to a simmer over medium heat. And now it’s mole!!
  6. Remove chicken from the bones and shred (discard bones). Stir chicken into the mole and turn off heat.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat some oil in a cast-iron frying pan over med-high heat. One at a time, fry whole tortillas until soft – 4 to 5 seconds. Transfer softened tortillas to a paper towel-lined rack. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, spread a smallish amount of chicken mixture on the tortilla and roll up. Arrange in a square baking dish. Cover with some more mole. Sprinkle with the remaining onions and grated monterey jack. Loosely cover with an overturned cookie sheet and bake at 350F until bubbly – about 35 minutes. Allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Serve enchiladas garnished with the cream cheese mixture and coriander leaf, if you have any, and steamed green vegetable.

post edited 9 February 2007 to fix link to larger image

This entry was posted in 'Saveur' Magazine review, cookbooks, etc., food & drink, main course, posts with recipes, spicy on by .

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