1 ½ to 2poundsboneless skinless chicken breasts, (about 3 large chicken breasts)
1cup(114g)shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1cup(114g)shredded Monterey jack cheese
½cupminced fresh cilantro
12(6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas, (fajita-size if using flour tortillas)
In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool slightly. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture with a spoon or spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the onion mixture in the large bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or damp paper towels. Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese browns. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, if desired.
Chili Powder: Chili powder varies in spiciness. I use Penzey's or McCormick brand and as written, the 2 tablespoons + jalapeno makes for a very mildly spicy dish. You can lessen the heat by making sure not to use seeds or membranes of the jalapeno (or only using half of the jalapeno) and dialing down the chili powder to taste. Make Ahead Instructions: Follow the recipe, letting the sauce, onions and chicken come to room temperature before assembling the enchiladas. Assemble the enchildas and cover the pan with a layer of tin foil and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. The assembled enchiladas can be covered with a double layer of tin foil and put inside a jumbo-size ziploc bag (if you don’t have a jumbo-sized bag, make sure the edges of the pan are sealed well with tin foil). Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Bake from frozen, baking for 1 1/2 hours covered at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake an additional hour until hot and bubbly.