Monday, February 6, 2012

Enchilada Chicken Roll Ups

Enchilada Chicken Roll up filling

For some reason I haven't felt much like writing lately.  But I have felt like cooking and last night in the kitchen was amazing.  My brain just went straight to "inspired chef" mode as I opened the fridge, saw the cilantro and remembered the fragrance of spices in the pan from the last time I made enchilada sauce.  It's times like these that make cooking dinners at home really worth it for me as I rarely cook from recipes unless I am baking.

Before I share the recipe with you I want to note that because I don't cook from recipes I rarely measure things like salt and spices but rather season dishes to my taste and recommend that you give it a try too.  Feel free to do it with this recipe.  And don't feel bad if you don't like cilantro, just chuck it.  If you want more chili powder, go for it.  Taste as you go and have fun...but when you add that cinnamon get ready for a miracle in the pan.  Enjoy!

Mrs. Patty's Enchilada Chicken Roll Ups
(Makes 6)

6 large gordita style flour tortillas
1.5 lbs chicken breast strips (frozen so they juice better while cooking)
4 cups - shredded Romain lettuce
1 bunch cilantro - chopped
2 avocados - chopped fine
1 Tomato - diced
2 Limes - Juice (half will be used for cooking and half for later
1 onion - thin sliced and chopped to 2" (approx)
1 Red bell pepper - thin sliced and cut to 2" pieces
1 clove garlic - crushed and fine chopped
Kosher salt - to taste
5 to 6 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Mexican Oregano
1 Tbsp California Chili Powder
1 tsp Ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp sugar, honey or other sweetener

Cut and chop the cilantro, lettuce, avocado, tomato and set aside.  Juice the limes and sprinkle some of the the juice over the lettuce and save half for cooking.  Prep all the remaining ingredients before cooking.

In a large heavy bottomed skillet (I used caste iron), drizzle 3 Tbsp olive oil, heating on medium high until oil begins to ripple but not smoke. Add the red bell pepper and onion. Saute until nicely caramelized and just tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In that same skillet drizzle 3 Tbsp olive oil and heat until again until the oil ripples and add in the 1 pound frozen chicken breast strips and saute until thawed and sprinkle with kosher salt. There should be a good amount of liquid from the chicken in the pan at this time.

Next toss in the garlic, the juice from the lime, cumin, 1/2 tsp dried, 1Tbsp California chili powder, "Mexican" oregano leaves. I rub the leaves of the Mexican oregano between my palms as I add them them to the skillet to help release fragrance and essential oils. Finally add the sugar ground cinnamon over top.

When I added the cinnamon to the pan last night it took me back it was such a wonderful aroma.  It made me exclaim "wow" it was so yummy.  How this happens with just this one spice added to the rest is a miracle to me...back to the recipe.

Once the spices and herbs are added stir everything together making sure their are not clumps of spices on the chicken pieces.  Continue to stir frequently, turning the meat so it is evenly coated with seasoning and continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Remove the skillet from heat and dice chicken.

Warm tortillas until soft in the microwave on a covered plate on high, about 3/4 to 1 minute for six 6 tortillas.

Place a handful of the chicken
down the center of each warm tortilla. Next add a handful of sauteed onion and peppers, top this with lettuce, avocado, cilantro and just a little bit of your favorite salsa or fresh tomatoes if you like and a sprinkle of fresh lime juice to finish.

You can just roll it up tight or make it like a burrito if you want with the ends folded in to keep it tidy.



  1. Sounds great. Thanks for sharing. Just what my kitchen needs as the East wind is howling all week.

  2. Thank You Patty``I must try these``

  3. Thanks for leaving the comments. I also wanted share that the filling is wonderful on top of a bed of Romain lettuce and brown rice which is how we used the leftover filling. Enjoy!