These probably aren’t what you think of when you think of enchiladas. And that’s okay. Though these aren’t very traditional, they are truly delicious. They are also a great way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey…timely, huh? This is the perfect way to use leftover supermarket rotisserie chicken. But, why not use some leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead? I know many of us look forward to the after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. And damn, they are delicious and a thing to look forward to. But, there comes a time, when you’re looking for another option to just finish off that last bit of turkey. You can make soup, and you should absolutely do that, but this is a nice alternative…options, folks…options.
This time, I chose a more traditional flavor base for these enchiladas, a more pot-pie base, if you will. I’ve traveled down the Latin flavor and Italian flavor road when I’ve made these…it just depends on my mood. So, if you, like me, are in the mood for traditional chicken pot pie flavors, this is your recipe.
In the past, I sautéed the vegetables in butter, but now I simmer them in broth. We like it much better, hands-down. It’s also easier and you can just go on to the béchamel without missing a beat. I combine the thickening agent with the white wine, which adds a bit of needed acid. I usually use the fines herbes blend of, well herbs. But, feel free to use whatever you prefer. I stir in the cooked chicken (or turkey) and frozen peas at the end. Let it stand for a few minutes, which makes the filled tortillas easier to roll.
While the veggies are simmering, I make a medium béchamel sauce. We’ve already covered making a béchamel sauce, so I’m not going into it here. Head over that post, if you need the info. I add about 3/4 cup of filling, roll it into the tortilla and place each one seam-side down in the casserole. Place in a single layer…yeah, I didn’t here. But, each portion has better cheese distribution, if you do. If I’m making them to serve immediately, I spoon the medium béchamel over all the filled enchiladas, sprinkle with shredded cheese (I was out of shredded cheddar-jack, but slices can be torn!) and pop the dish into the oven. I just bake them until the sauce is bubbly. I find I usually need to place the dish under the broiler, just to get that cheese nice and brown. Then, let them stand for at least 5 minutes or longer. Sprinkle with snipped chives and serve. They are hot, and if you try to eat them immediately, that cheese is going to become one with the roof of your mouth. You do NOT want that. NO!
This version really does taste like a Chicken Pot Pie. See the NOTE, at the end of the recipe, for other flavor profiles, all equally delicious. They can be made ahead, covered and chilled until ready to bake. Return to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before baking.
Chicken Pot Pie Enchiladas
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 celery rib, sliced
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped leeks or onions
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons rice flour or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fines herbes, tarragon or herbes de Provence (optional)
- 1 1/2-2 cups cubed cooked chicken (or turkey)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (unthawed)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups medium béchamel sauce, made with butter
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
Spray a 9X13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, place the carrots, celery, mushrooms, leeks and garlic. Give it a good stir; add the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer; lower the heat and continue to cook until the carrots are just barely tender, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the white wine and rice flour; stir until well combined. Pour into the simmering broth; add the heavy cream and herbs, if using. Simmer over low heat until very thick, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the chicken, peas. Taste and correct the seasoning. Set aside.
If planning on serving this immediately, preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the medium béchamel sauce, sautéing the onion in the butter; then continue preparing the sauce according to the directions. Set aside.
To assemble: Place a flour tortilla on a flat surface. Place about a good 1/2 cup (maybe 3/4 cup or about 1/8 of the mixture) of the filling across the bottom half of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla, place seam-side down in the prepared casserole. Repeat until all the filling and tortillas are used, placing the filled tortillas snuggly next to each other in the casserole.
Pour the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the mixture bubbles, the cheese melts and browns. I place the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes or until the cheese has lovely brown spots. Sprinkle with the chives; serve with salad on the side.
NOTE: For a Latino flavor: Omit the suggested herbs and add chopped, fresh cilantro, green chiles and even some black beans, omitting the peas. Change the cheese to the readily available Mexican cheese blend. For an Italian flavor: Add diced sun-dried tomatoes, diced bell peppers, diced fresh fennel (instead of the celery) and black olives, omitting the herbs and adding chopped fresh basil. Use an Italian blend of cheese. This is a very flexible recipe.
Chicken Pot Pie Enchiladas Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.