chicken enchilada caserolle

A dozen corn tortillas are re-heated in oil from the package to reawaken them, to restore them to vitality, to strengthen their tender delicate composition, to flavor them, and to bring them one fourth of the way to tortilla chips so that they can hold up to what is in store for them. Or else they'd simply dissolve. And that's okay too, becoming something closer to tamales, but it's not what we want.

The pan is ladled with hot green chile sauce (don't let its red color fool you) so that the enchiladas do not stick and to saturate them top, sides, and bottom with sauce.

Usually the tortillas are dipped in the sauce to saturate them but these will have that saturation without dipping. 

And usually, you'll have sauce, chicken and cheese, possibly chile rolled up.  I'm using the ricotta and asiago combination left over from the calzones earlier, a decidedly unMexican choice of cheese. 

The main component is sauce. If the sauce is not good then the whole thing will not be good. I'm using pork chili made with very hot Hatch chiles. My pork chili was uncomfortably hot. I added one teaspoon white sugar and that really did reduce the intensity of heat considerably, making it bearable. The cheeses will reduce the capsaicin intensity even more.  

unbaked ↑
baked  ↓

The first time I made these at age twenty-three I used a Gringo idea from a lady at work. Her recipe uses cream of chicken soup in place of Mexican chile. It had no capsaicin heat and all the other Gringos who tried it told me that it's very good. I mentioned I felt bad for it being a failure. I failed to coat every inch with sauce so some of the corn tortillas baked to crisp and crunchy texture in places and I didn't like that. The people present that moment who had just eaten one said, "Oh no. That's not a failure. We like that." But I did not. And now it seems that Campbell's cream of chicken soup made thickly and enhanced with sour cream just isn't good enough. It sounds a bit stupid. Maybe kicked up with hot Hatch chiles that wouldn't be so bad. Authentic Mexican people familiar with the real deal most likely won't care for that commercial shortcut, probably will think it quite odd,  but Caucasians who don't like hot foods do. The critics included a Swede and another Nordic woman who's a total pain the ass about all food, even garlic. She holds a large number of strange and debilitating food related conceits.

YouTube videos are all over the place with this dish. White people do the craziest things. They're the fussiest eaters with the strangest hangups and they let it all hang out on YouTube. Their videos on chicken enchiladas are a good demonstration of this fact.

The next time I'll use all Mexican cheese. There is just something warmly welcoming about it and none of it is extreme.

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