Despite COVID-19 forcing my family to limit our Thanksgiving dinner to a three-person endeavor, my mother insisted on cooking a whole turkey as per usual. However, after a couple of days, eating plain old turkey can get boring — unless you know creative ways to make use of it. My father took this opportunity to teach me how to create one of my childhood favorites, pan-fried enchiladas, using our leftover turkey breast as a filling instead of the customary chicken. If you’re in a similar predicament in the leftovers department and are looking for a flavorful meal to share with your friends or family, these pan-fried turkey enchiladas are perfect!
- Leftover cooked turkey breast
- 2 cans (30 ounces total) tomato sauce
- 5 ounces chicken broth
- Crushed pepper
- Cooking oil (I prefer canola oil, but take your pick!)
- Regular or large-sized corn tortillas
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Chopped lettuce
- Sour cream
Making the sauce:
- Pour 1 tablespoon of cooking oil into a medium-sized pot, and turn on the stove to medium-heat.
- Then, add in two cans of tomato sauce. Be careful — the tomato sauce will sizzle and spray on impact.
- Add stemless fresh cilantro and oregano to the pot, and stir slowly.
- Pour in 5 ounces of chicken broth. This should thin out the sauce. Continue to stir.
- Add crushed pepper.
- Pull apart cooked turkey into thin strips.
- Microwave the turkey for about 1 minute. Be careful not to warm for too long, as to not dry out the turkey.
- Shred cheese and chop lettuce, for garnish.
- Pour ½ cup of oil in a deep pan or enough to be able to submerge a tortilla in it.
- Turn on the stove to a medium-heat and wait until oil is hot. Then, submerge a tortilla in the oil, and cover the pan with a splatter skin.
- After a few seconds, the tortilla will soften and bubble. Quickly remove the tortilla, place on a plate and pat with a paper towel to soak up the excess grease.
- To assemble an enchilada, place pulled turkey in the center of the warm tortilla and fold the tortilla over on both sides.
- Pour the desired amount of sauce on the enchilada(s).
- Top with cheese, lettuce and sour cream. You can also add more sauce.
- I suggest making 2-4 enchiladas at a time, then repeat the steps for each person you are feeding. The enchiladas taste best fresh, so have your family or friends ready at the dinner table!
Although I admit the clean-up process is not the most fun after making these pan-fried enchiladas, the delicious product you get out of it completely makes up for it! I enjoy eating the enchiladas à la carte but if you’re looking to have a more hearty meal, they pair well with Spanish rice and refried pinto beans. This is a recipe that has been passed down in my family for generations. I hope you’re able to enjoy it as much as we have!