Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

Chicken and Cheese Dutch Oven Enchiladas
(or alternately Vegetarian Cheese Dutch Oven Enchiladas)

Feeds 5-6 (Easily doubled, tripled, etc.)

*NOTE: This recipe can be made vegetarian by using vegetarian refried beans, and replacing the chicken with a meat substitute (Boca crumbles, etc.), more black beans, rice, olives, and/or onions, etc.

I’m a scout leader, and our family camps frequently. Good campfire recipes are golden when you find one you like. I threw this combination together years ago when I wanted enchiladas and needed to feed a group at a campout. This really is an easy recipe on a campout if you cook your meat ahead of time. If your chicken is pre-cooked, all you’re doing is assembling the ingredients and heating them up, and this will be ready in under ½ hour if you’re good at assembling them. You can also pre-roll the enchiladas at home, but if you’ve got a bunch of kids/scouts, set up an assembly line and have one do the refried beans, one add chicken, one roll them, etc.

Easily substitute shredded pork or ground beef for the chicken.

Utensils

  • Can opener
  • Rubber spatula
  • Tablespoons (optional – use fingers instead!)
  • Tongs and/or heavy-duty spatula (that can hold some weight)
  • Dutch oven

Ingredients

  • Corn or flour tortillas (I use fajita-sized flour tortillas – 10 to a bag)
  • 1 large or 2 small cans refried beans
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I precook these at home and bring in a bag just so I don’t have to bring raw chicken along)
  • Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce – 1lg + 1sm or 3 small cans (choose spiciness you prefer – it comes in mild, medium, and hot, depending on where you buy it – I go with mild and provide hot sauce for those wanting more of a kick)
  • 1 large bag of shredded cheese – your choice of flavor/blend (I usually get Walmart’s Mexican blend – the bag that costs $7 or so)

Optional Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • Mexican or Spanish rice (the pre-cooked in the bag works well at a campout)
  • Chopped onions or green onions
  • Chopped/sliced olives
  • Whatever else you want to throw in

Directions

Fill and roll enchiladas first:

  1. Using rubber spatula, smear about 2 tablespoons of refried beans on half of a tortilla.
  2. On the “not-smeared” side of the tortilla, add a couple tablespoons of chopped chicken.
  3. Add a big pinch (1-2T) of shredded cheese.
  4. Add a couple tablespoons of enchilada sauce.
  5. Add a pinch of any optional items as desired (black beans, rice, onions, olives, etc.)
  6. Starting on the fillings side, start rolling the enchilada closed towards the “beaned” side. The refried beans will act as a paste to keep the enchilada rolled shut. FLOUR TORTILLAS ONLY: Right after you get it closed on the first roll, fold the ends in and finish rolling it like a burrito — the tucked ends keep the goodies inside.
  7. Continue to roll and stack all enchiladas until you’re done.

**NOTE: If you use the small corn tortillas, or small flour tortillas, you will need to adjust the amounts you put on so you can roll them shut.  “A couple tablespoons” of chicken or cheese is really a small handfull when I make it – just reach in the bowl/bag and grab a bunch with your fingertips.

In dutch oven (with or with liner):

  1. Pour enough sauce along the bottom of the pan to coat it.
  2. Lay rolled enchiladas in the bottom of the pan, it’s OK if they’re up against each other.
  3. Dribble or brush the outside of each enchilada with the sauce, making sure all exposed tortilla has been coated to keep it from drying out. If you like lots of sauce, pour the rest over the enchiladas.
  4. Liberally sprinkle cheese over the top – how much depends on you.
  5. You can layer the enchiladas on top of each other, but remember that it will take longer to heat the ones in the middle up. I suggest if you do this you put a sheet of parchment paper between layers (I’d avoid foil between layers, IMHO)

Cook the enchilada with more briquettes on top than on bottom (I did maybe 20/10?  Wasn’t really paying attention… there I go “winging it again.”)

Cook until the cheese on the top is nicely browned and a bit bubbly.

Use tongs or a heavy-duty spatula to serve (somehow one or two always fall apart for me… they still taste the same, though).

Remember if you do more than two layers, the middle layer(s) will take more time to heat up – OR, you can serve the top layer, and throw the lid back on to continue to brown/heat the middle layer.

**Thanks to Mike and Debi for the photo from this past weekend’s campout… mine never look so nice!