Ooh La La Enchiladas with Chicken, Almonds, and Tomatillo

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When I was a kid, my Aunt Rosie made delicious enchiladas with a combination of chicken and almonds. It was probably my first experience eating two things that normally don’t go together, and they completely blew my mind. This last Sunday, we were in the mood for Mexican food and thought we’d try to recreate her famous dish. It was too late to call my Aunt but, a few quick Google searches and a couple of recipe tweaks later, here’s what we came up with.

Chicken Enchiladas:
Good corn tortillas
Vegetable oil (optional)
1 chicken breast, on the bone
Chicken rub (chili powder, brown sugar garlic powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper)
Sliced almonds, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup toasted
1/4 yellow onion, diced
3 oz. cream cheese
1 small can green chiles, drained
1 jalapeño, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. milk or cream
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese

White Sauce:
Splash of milk
1 cup sour cream
Lime juice, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Rub the chicken breast with a spice mix and cook until done in a 375˚ oven. Set aside to rest for 15-30 min. then shred. If you are going to make homemade Mexican rice, here is a link to a yummy recipe. For the tomatillo sauce, we used this recipe but you can totally take a shortcut and find some in the salsa section.

In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp. butter and cook the 1/4 cup onion and 1/4 cup (non-toasted) almonds until the onion is translucent. Add the jalapeño and green chiles to the pan. Meanwhile, soften the cream cheese in the microwave and add the cumin and milk. Combine with the onion mixture and the shredded chicken. For the white sauce, combine the sour cream with the milk, lime juice, salt & pepper.

Yay, you’re on the home stretch! Now it’s time to set up the assembly line.

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Butter a 13″ x 9″ dish and set aside. Heat a 1/4 inch layer of vegetable oil in a cast iron pan until hot (200˚-250˚ should be about right). Add the corn tortillas, one at a time, flipping after a few seconds. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and get rolling! Fill each enchilada with the chicken mixture, some of the cheese, and top with the two sauces. Cover with foil and bake in a 350˚ oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and add the remaining cheese and toasted almonds. Bake for another 5 minutes until everything is nice and bubbly.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice, beans, and guacamole. Enjoy!

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