Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas.

I know I know. I just talked about enchiladas five minutes ago.

And now I rhyme. I’ll just shut up for all eternity.

But first, here’s ten reasons why you should scoot into the kitchen and get these enchiladas in your face. Pro tips? Not really.

1. They are more substantial than holiday mint m&m’s. BTW, I’m totally curious on what the difference is between holiday mint and peppermint and why our excessive world needs to have both out right now. Makes no sense. Eat enchis instead.

2. You can make this pan ahead of time and HAVE A LIFE. Dude. It’s the holiday season. I hope you are outside having fun and throwing snowballs and sliding across ice on a sparkly little pond and shopping your butt off and attending cocktail parties and spending time with friends and relishing in all the love that this month is really all about. I hope you’re roasting chestnuts or sitting by a fire or some kind of cliché stuff other than sitting on the internets or living in the kitchen. Seriously. Do it. Well, first, take like 20 minutes and do this. THEN do that.

3. BEER.

4. You can’t fathom one more cinnamon roll, French toast slice or eggnog-stuffed thing. I get it. Make enchiladas, eat some chex mix. It sounds better for you. I want to make chex mix. Do you have a recipe? I asked for some on Facebook yesterday. I’m asking for some here. I’m in a chex mix state of mind.

5. I’ve heard that New Years Eve is lots more fun with a big, fat Mexican food feast. It sounds dreamy and food coma-ish all at the same time. Just don’t even show me an eggnog margarita. No. But enchiladas and chips and guac and tequila and queso and grilled corn on December 31st. Sign me up. Yes? Please. We will be fast friends.

6. Enchilada bar this holiday season. MAKE IT HAPPEN. Different enchis, toppings, beverages and what not. Fun party favors. Festive hats. Maybe I’ll see if I can find one on Pinterest to make us all feel inadequate.

7. Santa likes cheese.

8. You might be covered in glitter from head to toe because you fell for gimmicky sparkly wrapping paper at Target because they are inside your brain and know exactly what you’d buy when you need nothing at all and unless you want to make a sparkly dinner, you can just pull your enchis from the fridge and warm them up. Take that Target.

9. Delicious tex-mex makes up for all of your run-on sentences.

10. It’s sweatpants season. If you disagree, put your enchilada on top of a salad.


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Spicy Beer Braised Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: serves 4

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces of your favorite beer
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 lime, juiced
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
8 to 10 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat)

beer enchilada sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups your favorite beer
15 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine the lime zest, brown sugar, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix together well, then rub all over both sides of each chicken breast. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once it's hot, add the chicken and sear on both sides until deeply golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Pour in the beer, reduce the heat to medium, cover and let cook until the chicken is cooked and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, use forks or tongs to shred the chicken and mix it in with the remaining beer in the skillet. Turn off the heat. Add in 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce and about 1/2 cup of grated cheese along with the peppers and lime juice, mixing well.

Add another 1/3 cup of the sauce to the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out with a spoon. Add the chicken filling to the center of each tortilla and roll them tightly, placing them next to each other in the dish. When finished, cover the tortillas with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and melted on top.

enchilada sauce
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Whisk in the flour and cook until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes before using.

I hope that’s reason enough.