Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

I’m not sure how “retro” a recipe is from 1986 but I ran into a problem finding my mother’s old recipe books. We recently packed up her house and they are all in a box in storage! So, I rummaged through my own collection and found my old “Southern Living 1986 Annual Recipes” book. It’s full of recipes that call for canned this or jarred that. I picked out a couple of recipes to try and landed on a chicken enchilada recipe. I thought I could surely make it super yummy without using canned cream of chicken soup! I added spinach to the recipe (my 13 year old son protested but I won). I also made a béchamel sauce using chicken stock and heavy cream to substitute for the canned condensed soup. It was a winner winner chicken dinner! Served it with doctored up canned black beans (yes, I did use canned beans). You can take the girl out of the 80’s but you can’t take the 80’s out of the girl!

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
by Maryjo
Adapted from the Easy Chicken Enchiladas recipe from Southern Living 1986 Annual Recipes

3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup sour cream
2 cups packed fresh spinach
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 fresh corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter over medium high heat. When melted, add the flour, stir around until the flour is coated and continue to stir for about 3 minutes on medium high heat so that the flour taste will be cooked out of the sauce. Add the chicken stock and whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic powder, stir, and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add the chopped cooked chicken, sour cream, spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, green chiles, chopped onion, salt, pepper, ground cumin, and the roux. Mix well.

Heat about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet and fry each corn tortilla for 5 seconds on each side (to soften them up). Add a little more oil if it runs low. Place the tortillas on a paper towel to drain.

Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Put about 1/3 cup of the chicken and spinach filling onto each tortilla, rolling them up and placing each tortilla seam side down in the casserole dish. Note: I had filling left over, which I put into a zip top bag and threw into the freezer for another quick meal another day.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and add the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Change the oven from bake to broil and turn up the heat to 450ºF. Bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream, or pico de gallo, or sliced avocados, or black beans, or all of the above. Olé! 1986 Style!


  1. Where does the cream go in the recipe? I don't see it in the recipe, just the list of ingredients.

    1. Rae - Thanks for catching that! You add the cream after you add the garlic powder to the sauce, right after you take it off the heat to cool. I'll contact the powers that be to see if the recipe can be updated. Thanks again. Best, Maryjo