Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching, and although we don't usually celebrate this holiday, since it is on a Sunday this year, I thought it would be a perfect time to create another tablescape as well as try a new recipe. I selected Chicken Mole Enchiladas as the recipe. My husband loves authentic Chicken with Mole Sauce, and I once signed up for a cooking class to learn how to make it. Imagine my dismay when I found out that the traditional method takes all day! Luckily, there are prepared sauces available in the supermarket. The most common one is the Dona Maria brand which comes in a jar:
This sauce is concentrated and must be thinned with liquid to use. Recently, though, I discovered a new version by the same manufacturer that comes in a paper box and is ready to use:
I love it when convenience foods become even more convenient! This product makes an already simple recipe even easier. Of course, if you want to take the time and make the effort, you can make the sauce from scratch, but I prefer to at least start with the quick version. In fact, at first I wasn't even sure I was going to like this -- the sauce straight from the box is rather harsh and bitter, and even when mixed with the chicken I did not find it especially appealing. However, once I had the casserole assembled and baked, the end result was quite delicious. It may even be worth expending the energy to make a truly homemade batch one of these days! Here is my fast and easy version:
Chicken Mole Enchiladas
1 tsp. oil
1 box (9.5 oz.) ready-to-serve mole sauce (you will only use about half of the sauce)
half of a rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (I used a breast and a thigh)
9 small (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
4 oz. shredded cheese (I used a cheddar-mozzarella blend)
Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the mole sauce and heat through. Spread a little of the sauce on the bottom of a greased 7x11-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken with enough mole sauce to moisten. If the tortillas are not at room temperature, wrap them and heat in the microwave briefly to soften. Put about 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture on one end of a tortilla, sprinkle with a little cheese, and roll up. Place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Pour more of the sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until heated through. I covered my baking dish with foil -- I am not sure if this is necessary, but I did not want my casserole to dry out and this seemed to do the trick. Cool slightly, then serve. Serves 3.
Note: Obviously, you can easily double this recipe and bake it in a slightly larger pan to serve six people, but since it is just the two of us I decided to make less just in case one of us did not like it.
Three enchiladas are just right if this is served as a main dish with a simple accompaniment like a salad. If you intend to serve these with other hearty dishes, such as refried beans and rice and/or other Mexican favorites (tacos or quesadillas, for example), then I would recommend only serving one or two per person.