This is one of those dishes that brings backs childhood memories. Well, actually, teenager memories. See, during our high school and college days, our house was one of the houses where my brother's and my friends just seemed to gather. Especially during our college breaks, Mom was never sure how many people she was going to have around for dinner. There always seemed to be one or two (or more) impromptu additions at the dinner table! I like these memories. I like that our house was that 'comfortable.'
Mom got very smart. Rather than stress about what she was going to feed everyone, she started preparing ahead. I bet she actually started preparing for Christmas break waaaayyy before even Thanksgiving! She'd make huge pans of lasagna, chicken casserole, and a wild rice & shrimp casserole and put them away in the freezer way ahead of time.
And one of the other tricks she had up her sleeve? ... These Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas. They can be made ahead of time, are freezer-friendly, and make a huge batch. What more could you ask for in preparing for a crowd?? Don't need to feed a crowd? No problem! Just put them up in the freezer in smaller pans and you're good to go for several make-ahead meals.
To make these, first you whip up a sour cream-based sauce ...
... and a spinach & chicken filling (with some of the yummy sauce mixed on in).
... roll them up, and lay them in a pan. I really cram them in pretty tight. From one batch of sauce and filling, I make two large pans of enchiladas (about 16-20 enchiladas).
Finish them off by pouring the sauce all over and topping them with shredded cheese. Bake 'em up immediately, refrigerate them over night before baking, or pop them unbaked in the freezer until you need them. You're ready to feed a crowd!
Oh, and did I mention these are delicious? No?? Well, they are!
Source: My Mom
12 skinless chicken breast halves (or you can use a whole cooked rotisserie chicken)
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 (10 oz.) packages chopped spinach, cooked & drained, reserving broth
1 T. butter, melted
1 c. diced onion
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
3 (8 oz.) cartons sour cream
3 (4 oz.) cans diced green chilies, drained
3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
16 flour tortillas (I use whole wheat instead. You may need more than 16 tortillas.)
1. Place chicken in a large pot and add water to cover; add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 40 minutes. Cool chicken slightly; remove chicken from the bone and dice.
2. Cook spinach according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the spinach broth. Saute onion in the butter until tender. Stir in diced chicken and spinach.
3. In a separate bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, reserved spinach broth, milk, green chilies, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Mix well. Stir half of this soup mixture into the chicken mixture.
4. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla; roll up and place seam-side-down into two lightly greased 13x9" baking pans. Spoon remaining soup mixture over tortillas.
5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese and bake 5-10 minutes longer.
NOTE: These may be frozen before baking. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed.