*alternate method- prepare your meat the night before, and then let that puppy chill in the fridge overnight.
When you're ready to start cooking, pre-heat the oven to 350, pour about half a can of beer over the meat, I like to use Modelo Negro, and throw that bad boy into the oven. The beer adds a depth of flavor that I really like, but you can also simply braise in some hearty chicken stock. I use a casserole dish, lightly greased and covered. Let that baby braise for about an hour and a half, or until it is falling apart tender.
Depending on how long it marinated, how big the pieces are, how many times you opened the oven to experience that fantastic blast of yumminess wafting into your nostrils…Just sayin’, cooking times may vary a bit. Poke at it with a fork every now and again. It’ll eventually get to the falling apart stage. This is right where you want it.
When it is tender, but not quite falling apart, I chop up and add sweet yellow onion, green pepper, jalapeno, and more garlic. You can almost never have too much garlic. That’s why we have antacids!
When a fork is easily shredding your meat, it’s time to add a few pinches of chili powder, and some more cumin and oregano, and then stir, stir, stir...until you have this:
Sometimes, I add olives, black or green, or both. Sometimes I leave this as is. This time, I left as is. Now, chop some more onion, jalapeno, and garlic, since the others have flavored your chicken, but evaporated into the meat, sweat them in olive oil, and add to this mix, then set aside to cool a bit.
With the chicken mixture ready, you can begin making the enchilada sauce.
I start with oil, I like extra virgin olive oil. I don't really measure, but I guess it's about 1/4 cup? Not much more than that. I like to use a medium sized sauce pan. Heat the oil then add a few pinches of flour, and stir, stir, stir. Pretend you're making a gravy, or a roux if you will. Add some red chili powder. For this dish, I used about 1/4 cup of chili powder. Stir, stir, stir! Don't let it burn. Now I add tomato puree, a little at a time, to incorporate it well. Then add about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of chicken broth and cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Let this boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Stir to smooth, add more stock if it becomes too thick.
While this is simmering, I like to sweat yet more onion , garlic and jalapeno. When the onions are translucent, add to this sauce. Taste your sauce along the way, if you want it hotter, add some crushed red pepper, or more jalapeno, unseeded. I take the seeds out, I am married to a Gringa, after all.
Spoon some of this sauce into a casserole dish, just enough to cover the bottom, but first, fish out that bay leaf and properly dispose of it; It's done its job, and believe me, no one wants to bite into it. Blech!
Now, you can begin to assemble.
Dip a tortilla in the chili sauce
Add a spoonful of chicken to the tortilla, then a sprinkle of cheese, I like to use Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar. Roll tortilla, and lay seam side down in prepared casserole dish.
Continue until you've filled up the dish. Then spoon some chili sauce over them. MMMM...just look at these
Now top these beauties with more shredded cheese and, if you like, some olives and onion.
Cover with foil and Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10 min to toast tops. Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh chopped green onion, and look at what you've made!