June 09, 2023
Imagine a world where the smoky flavor of a pellet grill meets the rich, complex taste of ancho chilies. That's the world we're about to dive into with this unique recipe for Ancho Chili Chicken Enchiladas, cooked to perfection on a pellet grill. This recipe is not just about creating a meal; it's about crafting an experience that will make canned enchilada sauce a thing of the past.
Ancho chilies are the heart and soul of this recipe. Their rich, complex flavor is what sets this enchilada sauce apart. Look for chilies that are pliable, akin to large raisins. If they're brittle, their flavor might not be as potent.
Start by cleaning the ancho chilies. Remove any dust, then de-stem and de-seed them. Place them on the pellet grill, set at 400F, for 1-2 minutes. This process, known as flash roasting, will awaken dormant flavors in the chilies.
After roasting, cover the ancho pieces with hot tap water and let them reconstitute for 20-30 minutes.
While the chilies are reconstituting, roast two tomatoes on the pellet grill at 400F. They should be ready around the same time as the chilies.
While the chilies and tomatoes are doing their thing, it's time to prepare the other components of the sauce. Roughly chop one medium-sized onion, setting aside 2 tablespoons for the enchiladas' inner mixture. Sauté the onion and two whole, peeled garlic cloves in a dollop of oil until lightly browned.
Once the chilies and tomatoes are ready, add them to a blender along with the sautéed onion, garlic, and 2 cups of chicken stock. Blend until smooth.
Strain the blended sauce through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the leftover seeds and skin.
Now, it's time to cook the sauce. Add a dollop of oil to a saucepan and heat it up. Once heated, add the strained sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Let this mixture simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until it reduces down to a thick, velvety consistency.
While the sauce is simmering, you can start preparing the chicken. You can use rotisserie chicken, or you can poach 2 chicken breasts. To poach the chicken, cover 2 chicken breasts with cold tap water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked,set it aside to cool and then shred it using two forks.
Warm the tortillas in the oven for 1-2 minutes or microwave them for 60 seconds. To build the enchiladas, start by adding a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce to a plate. Dredge a tortilla in the sauce and flip it over. Fill it with chicken, cheese, and finely chopped onion. Roll it tight and set it seam side down in a baking dish. You can add some sauce to the baking dish to prevent sticking. Continue rolling the enchiladas, but be sure to save enough sauce to generously cover the tops of them in the baking dish.
When it comes to the final cooking of the enchiladas, the choice of fuel for your pellet grill can make a significant difference in the flavor profile of your dish. This is where Manchester Barbecue Pellets come into play.
Manchester Barbecue Pellets are renowned for their quality and consistency, two factors that are crucial for achieving the perfect cook on a pellet grill. Made from 100% natural hardwood, these pellets impart a unique, smoky flavor to your food that is difficult to replicate with other types of fuel.
The enchiladas are placed in a baking dish and set on the pellet grill, which should be preheated to 400F. Using Manchester Barbecue Pellets at this stage introduces a subtle smokiness that complements the rich, complex flavors of the ancho chilies and the homemade enchilada sauce. The heat from the pellets is also consistent and easy to control, ensuring your enchiladas cook evenly and don't end up burnt or undercooked.
Moreover, Manchester Barbecue Pellets are known for their efficient burn, producing less ash compared to other brands. This means less cleanup for you after cooking, allowing you more time to enjoy your delicious enchiladas.
In addition, these pellets come in various wood types, each offering a distinct flavor. For this particular Ancho Chili Chicken Enchilada recipe, using a milder wood type like apple or cherry can add a slight sweetness that balances the heat of the ancho chilies.
In conclusion, using Manchester Barbecue Pellets for the final cooking of the enchiladas not only enhances the overall flavor of the dish but also ensures a consistent, efficient cook. It's an investment in taste and convenience that elevates your pellet grilling experience.
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