After Sunday's culinary trip to Ethiopia, I have been mesmerized by the flavors and also devising ways to use up some of the berbere I created for the dishes. I'll need to make more berbere (recipe here) for this Sunday's trip to Ethiopia after this dish, but it was so worth it! This dish was also inspired by my recent trip to Santa Fe and the desire to recreate some of the delicious dishes I had while I was there. My friend Cindy shared her mother's recipe for New Mexican Enchilada Sauce and I adapted it to fit in some African flavors. This wasn't a quick dish, but very few things worth having are quick, right?
Chicken Enchiladas with African Spices by Joie de vivre
5 chicken legs
About 8 small corn tortillas (I made mine for better and fresher flavor)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
For Enchilada sauce:
3 Tbls. unsalted butter
2 Tbls. all purpose flour
1/3 c. berbere (recipe here)
2 c. water
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1. Begin by making the enchilada sauce. Melt the butter in a large bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk well. Cook the flour in the butter for about 1 minute whisking continuously. Add the water extremely slowly, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Add the berbere, oregano, and cumin and cook the sauce over low heat for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the chicken legs to a 4-5 quart crock pot insert. Pour the enchilada sauce over the chicken legs. Cover and set the crock pot to LOW. Cook the chicken legs on LOW for about 4 hours, stirring once after about 2 hours.
3. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the meat from the bones and place it in a medium sized bowl. Shred the meat with two forks.
4. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
5. Into an 8 x 8 inch Pyrex baking dish, spoon about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce from the crock pot. Cover this with a layer of about 4 tortillas (enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup more enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas. Over this, layer 1/2 of the chicken. Put 1/2 of the cheese over the chicken and spoon another 1/4 c. sauce over the cheese. Repeat the layers. Tortillas, sauce, remaining chicken, remaining cheese, and the remaining sauce.
5. Place this dish into the pre-heated oven for about 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted through and bubbly. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.