Aired August 27, 2007
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 medium to large onion, quartered
4 6- to 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups tomato sauce
2 teaspoons hot cayenne pepper sauce (several drops)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2 pinches)
2 teaspoon chili powder, divided
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 cups Monterey Jack shredded cheese
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, optional
Preheat oven to 275F.
Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven, or wrap in a damp cloth towel and warm up in the microwave.
Place a medium-sized skillet over high heat. Add chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano and onion, and bring up to a bubble. Add chicken breasts and bring back to a bubble then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium. Poach chicken in broth 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the stock and let it cool a bit so that you can handle it. Reserve poaching liquid.
While the chicken is poaching make the enchilada sauce: In a sauce pan, combine the tomato sauce, hot sauce, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of chili powder. Bring up to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, keeping sauce warm until you are ready to use it.
Shred the cooled chicken into small strips using two forks or your fingers. Transfer the shredded meat to a bowl and add 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin, season with a little salt and pepper.
Remove tortillas from oven and switch broiler on high. Pour a little of the enchilada sauce, about 1/4 cup, on the bottom of a casserole or baking dish. Divide chicken mixture equally between the warm tortillas by piling it up on the bottom half of each tortilla and rolling into a tube.
Place enchiladas seam side down on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Once all the enchiladas are in the pan, pour remaining hot tomato sauce over them and top with cheese.
Place in enchiladas in hot oven 6 inches from broiler and broil 5 minutes to melt cheese and set enchiladas. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve.