Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas

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When I am not looking in my personal recipe box for dinner ideas, I like to search websites; two of my favorites are and This month’s recipe is from Epicurious via a 1998 article in Bon Appetit. It is a little bit more prep than I usually like, but it is well worth it. 

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas


1 4.5-lb. chicken, quartered
(I use two 1.5 lb. full breasts instead)

7 cups of low-salt chicken broth

3 Tbsp. olive oil (will need a few tablespoons more for cooking the tortillas)

2 cups finely chopped onion

3 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

5 Tbsp. hot Mexican-style chili powder

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

½ ounce semisweet chocolate

16 corn tortillas, 6-8 inch width
(I used an oat/flax flour tortilla)

4 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup drained pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

Optional- 16 oz container of sour cream


Place chicken and broth in large pot, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 30-45 min. Remove chicken and let cool. Remove bones and skin and discard. Shred the chicken meat and transfer to a bowl. Strain the broth and spoon off the fat. Reserve the broth.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1 cup onion, the garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon; stir, cover, and cook until onion is tender. Stir occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in the chili powder and flour; stir three minutes and then gradually whisk in 4-½ cups of the reserved broth. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until reduced to about 3-½ cups. Stir occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until it is melted completely. Let sauce cool five minutes.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add one tortilla and cook until just pliable; repeat with the rest of the tortillas, adding oil as needed. Transfer to a paper towel to cool.

(Note: if you use a softer tortilla then you can skip this step.)

Spread 1/3 cup of the sauce into two 13×9-inch baking dishes. Mix one cup of the sauce into the bowl of chicken. Starting with a tortilla, put 3 tablespoons cheese, one tablespoon olives, one tablespoon onion and ¼ cup of the chicken into the center of the tortilla and roll up and place in baking dish with seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Heat oven to 375 degrees; cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until sauce bubbles. Serve with sour cream.

Buon Appetito!