Aired April 11, 2011
10 dried ancho chiles
8 garlic cloves
1 cup chicken broth from cooked chicken, or store bought
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil or as needed
Kosher salt to taste
About 48 corn tortillas
1 4-pound whole chicken, poached and shredded
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (optional)
3 cups grated or crumbled queso fresco or shredded Mexican cheese
Mexican rice, for serving
Refried Beans, for serving
For the sauce: place the tomatoes and chiles in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook gently until the chiles are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and remove the stems from the chiles. Working in batches if necessary, place the tomatoes, chiles, garlic and chicken broth in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until well pured.
In a large skillet, heat cup of the oil over medium heat until shimmery and hot but not smoking. Add the sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat. Set aside until cool.
For the enchiladas: Line baking sheet or platter with paper towels. In a small skillet, heat 1 cup of oil until shimmery and hot but not smoking. Lightly fry the tortillas one at a time just until softened, 5 to 10 seconds per side. Transfer to the paper towel-lined pan to drain.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat one of two baking dishes with cooking spray.
Working with one tortilla at a time, dip a tortilla in the red sauce, lightly soaking both sides completely. Place the tortilla in baking dish and arrange about 1 tablespoon of chicken in a line just above the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle over a bit of onion, if desired. Tightly roll up the tortilla and place it at one end of the baking dish. Repeat with all of the tortillas until all the enchiladas are snug in the dish. Use a second baking dish if necessary.
When all of the enchiladas are rolled and snug in a baking dish, pour over any remaining sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cover the pan(s) with foil. Place the baking dishes in the oven until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve directly from the dish, using a spatula to scoop out the enchiladas. Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans.