Can we talk Instant Pots for just a moment? Do you have one? I put off jumping on the Instant Pot bandwagon for a very long time. I told myself it was trending – like Microwaves. Do you remember when people cooked entire meals in their microwave? Crazy, but that’s just my opinion.
This past Christmas, Hubby surprised me with an 8-Quart Top of the Line Instant Pot. The first thing I made in it was Ham and Beans for New Year’s Day. Gotta admit, it was fast. Maybe not “instant”, but 45 minutes from start to finish for Ham and Beans isn’t bad. And better still, it tasted like the beans I make that simmer all day. Good stuff. Since then, I’ve been branching out in all sorts of directions with my Instant Pot.
When I make Chicken Enchiladas, generally speaking I’ll either slow-cook chicken all day, then assemble that night, or use pre-cooked chicken such as canned or Rotisserie or frozen packages of shredded chicken meat. Sometime I’ll roast an extra chicken to use later in the week. Not any more. Not when using an Instant Pot is so fast. Had I used commercial sauce instead of making my own, it would have been super quick. Hubby let me know we could have these Enchiladas anytime. Restaurant quality, no doubt.
Just an FYI on the Roasted Pepper Option – the ones I used came from our garden. All summer, we had been putting peppers in the freezer to add to whatever when winter came. If you haven’t tried freezer peppers, just a few things to keep in mind. Freeze the peppers whole and be prepared for super heat. Something happens to the oils in peppers when they are frozen. It becomes super-concentrated. A couple of peppers will give off a huge amount of heat. When you look at how few peppers there were to mix into all that chicken, it’s amazing the amount of heat that went into every bite.
Enough of my chatter – let’s get to cooking, shall we?
Instant Pot Ancho Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Ancho Chile Sauce
2 dried Ancho Chilies, dried
4 dried Chile Nuevo Mexico, dried
2 cloves Garlic Cloves
1-1/2 cups Water
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the chiles for about 30 second per side. Once toasted, cut the stems from the chilies, discard. Remove as many seeds as possible, then place the Peppers in the Instant Pot.
Note: Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after handling the chiles.
Peel and smash the garlic, add to the instant pot. Add water, salt, sugar, oregano and cumin to the pot. Lock the lid into place. Select Manual setting, pressure cook on high for 8 minutes.
Once pressure cooking is complete, allow pot to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid.
Pour the sauce into a blender. Add the vinegar and blend until smooth, being careful to hold the lid on.
The sauce is now ready to use for this recipe, or can keep in the refrigerator for a week, the freezer for a month.
Roasted Peppers, Optional
1 Habanero Pepper
1 Jalapeño Pepper
2 Serrano Peppers
Stem, finely dice the peppers. Place in a dry cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Roast the peppers until just beginning to soften. Set aside until ready to use.
1 lb boneless Chicken Thighs
Ancho Chile Sauce (above)
1/2 cup White Onion, chopped
12 Corn Tortillas
Cooking Spray, as needed
1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 cup Sour Cream
Put the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. Pour in the ancho chile sauce. Lock the lid into place. Select Manual; adjust the pressure to High and the time to 10 minutes.
After cooking, naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and let it cool for a few minutes. Keep the sauce warm. While the chicken cools, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and chop the onion; set aside.
When the chicken is just cool enough to handle, shred using two forks or a hand-held mixer. Mix in some of Ancho sauce with the shredded chicken. The chicken should be well coated with sauce but not drowning. Add the roasted peppers, if using, stir to combine. Set aside.
Spoon some of the Ancho sauce into a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish. Give the bottom a nice coating of sauce, set dish aside.
Spray the tortillas with a little cooking spray and warm on a flat griddle to make them easier to work with. Stack the tortillas on a plate. Create an assembly line of tortillas, onions, chicken filling and casserole dish.
Working with one tortilla at a time, place a line off-center with a little of the chopped onion. Place a couple of tablespoons of the chicken on top of the onion. Roll tightly, placing seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat, filling all the tortillas. Spoon remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
Bake the enchiladas in the heated oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Queso Fresco. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sour cream as desired.