While on my walk today, a good friend saw me as I was passing her house. She called to me and told me that she had something for me. I was thrilled when she handed me a bag full of lemons from her tree and some dried New Mexico chiles, that she got on her last trip to New Mexico. I had a debate with myself, whether to make fish with lemon tonight, or to try something completely different. Well, different won out, and I'm so glad it did. This was absolutely delicious! It had just the right amount of spice and I really loved the combination of flavors. Since I can't have the tortillas that would normally be in enchiladas, this was a great "lighter" version for me.
10 Dried New Mexico Chilies
1 garlic clove, cut in chunks (you do not have to dice this, it will go in the blender or food processor)
1 Tbsp shortening
1- 1 1/2 tsp water
Salt to taste
Cheddar Chees, grated
Green onions, chopped
To prepare your enchilada sauce:
Remove the stems from all of the dried chilies. Place the chilies in a pan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 minutes. (*If you want your sauce to be a little less spicy, after you remove the chilies from the water, remove the vein and the seeds.) Using tongs, pick up the chilies and place them in a food processor or blender with the garlic clove. Mix until completely smooth. Place the sauce in a sieve or small netted strainer with a bowl underneath and push the sauce through the sieve so it will catch all the seeds and pulp. Throw away anything left in the strainer and what is left in the bowl is your enchilada sauce. Set aside.
In a skillet, place the shortening over medium heat. Melt the shortening completely, then add the flour. Stir thoroughly and this will leave you with a roux. *(A roux is a thickening agent for sauces) It will resemble a paste. This is how you want it. After the roux has formed, add the blended sauce to it. Stir thoroughly to blend the roux into the sauce. Salt to taste. Stir and cook for about one minute to blend the flavors.
To cook your chicken and prepare the dish:
Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Cook your chicken any way you prefer. You can bake it, grill it, broil it etc. etc.
A few minutes before your chicken is done cooking, reheat your enchilada sauce. When the chicken is completely cooked, top with sauce and then put the grated cheddar cheese on top of the sauce. Place under the broiler or in the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese.
Remove and garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Enjoy!