I know it’s officially cozy sweater season, but I’m not ready to retire the grill just yet.
I suppose Vancouver doesn’t really need to have an end to grilling season (our winter climate is very mild, just damp), but I transition from open-flame cooking to snuggly braises and bubbling casseroles pretty eagerly once there’s a consistent nip in the air.
In this in-between time, I’m embracing the best of both worlds: crisp-tender, slightly charred farmer’s market zucchini and juicy, flame-kissed chicken nod a loving farewell to warm weather, while they nestle cozily into soft tortillas bathed in a creamy enchilada sauce. Just like that, we sink happily into the season of gooey baked comfort food.
The sauce is sour cream-based, with onion, garlic and jalapeño, and I warn you, you’ll want to stand at the stove and eat it with a spoon. Handfuls of sharp Canadian white Cheddar are tucked inside the tortillas and sprinkled on top. The sauce bubbles up seductively in the oven as the cheesy enchiladas turn golden brown with crispy edges.
You can be creative with your fillings – grilled kale, portobello mushrooms and/or corn would be delicious, just off the top of my head. As fall progresses, you could even swap in roasted sweet potato or squash cubes.
I spoon a bit of sauce into each tortilla before rolling it up to add moisture and flavour inside, then spoon some more in the bottom of the baking dish before adding the enchiladas.
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 tsp kosher salt or to taste (depending on how salty your chicken broth is)
- 2 medium zucchini sliced crosswise in ½” thick pieces
- 3 chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups grated Cheddar made from 100% Canadian milk
- 6 flour tortillas
- finely chopped green onion or cilantro for serving
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. To make sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeño and cook until softened, but not browned. Add garlic and cook a minute longer. Stir in flour and cook a minute more, then gradually whisk in chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce simmers and thickens. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the sour cream. Season to taste with salt.
- Preheat grill (or grill pan) on medium heat. Brush zucchini and chicken breasts with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill zucchini for 6 minutes, until grill-marked and crisp-tender, and cook chicken until no longer pink inside (or registers 160º F - it’ll rise another 5º as it rests), 8-12 minutes, flipping once. Chop chicken and zucchini into bite-sized pieces.
- Spread 1 cup of the sauce in bottom of a 9x13” baking pan.
- Lay the tortillas on a flat work surface and divide the chicken and zucchini equally among them, positioning the filling in a line along the centre. Set aside 1 cup of cheese for topping, then divide the remaining cheese among tortillas. Drizzle 12 tbsp of the sauce on top of the filling (2 tbsp per tortilla), then fold in the edges and roll them up. Nestle them into the baking pan, seam side down, as you roll them. Pour the rest of the sauce over top of the enchiladas, sprinkle with reserved cheese, and then bake for about 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and filling is heated through.