Mar 112014

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas

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Today, we are talking about enchiladas. It’s a delicious dish that might feel intimidating to make…until now. Sometimes I just need some comfort food, a little spice, and lots of cheese. If you feel the same way, this is your dish.

This recipe will have you making homemade enchilada sauce (that the chicken cooks in!) using only a small list of flavor packed ingredients. If you’re not a fan of chicken, you can easily sub it out for roasted veggies, black beans, or another type of meat.

Here we go! First, you saute some diced onions in a large pot. Then you add the jalapeno, garlic, and spices into the mix. Cue fragrant kitchen.

Chicken Enchiladas Step 1

Once that’s ready, add tomato sauce and water. You will then cook your chicken in this. For bigger chicken breasts, cut them in half before putting them into the sauce.

Homemade Chicken Enchilada Sauce

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the sauce and then strain the sauce. Squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Then shred the chicken, mix it together with the onion/spice mixture, cheeses, green chilies, cilantro and a little bit of the enchilada sauce.

Homemade Chicken Enchilada Filling

Almost done! Heat up the corn tortillas (two at a time works well in the microwave), and spoon the chicken mixture onto each one. I used corn tortillas but you can use flour if you’d like. Then roll it up, roll it uppp! Once you have enough to fill a baking dish, bake everything for a bit, then pour the remaining enchilada sauce over everything, top the dish off with more cheese, and bake it for a little while longer. Garnish with some fresh cilantro.

Voila! Face-plant worthy chicken enchiladas.

Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is adapted from Danelle over at Let’s Dish.

Chicken Enchiladas
Makes 1 9x13 casserole dish and about 2 cups of sauce.
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 Teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8 oz.) Cans tomato sauce
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 1/2 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large or 3 medium-sized chicken breasts)
  • 1 1/4 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 Cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 4 oz. Can diced green chilies
  • 1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped + extra for garnish
  • 12 (6-inch) Soft corn or flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large pot, heat canola oil over medium high.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes so that they are well coated and are beginning to soften. Then turn the heat down to medium and add the jalapeño and garlic. Cook for another few minutes.
  3. Next, stir in the chili powder, sugar, salt, and cumin. Cook for another minute or so and then add the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer for about 5 mins.
  4. Then add the chicken breasts in, cover, and bring the heat down to low. Cook for about 15-25 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. Tip: If they are really big pieces, cut them in half. Also, if you are replacing chicken with beans or vegetables, skip this step.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove chicken breasts from the sauce and then turn up the temp up to medium so the sauce can simmer and thicken a tad (about 5 mins.) Shred chicken into small pieces while waiting.
  6. Using a large, fine mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a medium size bowl. You can use a spoon to push down as much of the onion/garlic/jalapeño mixture as you can. Once you have squeezed as much sauce out as possible, put the onion mixture into a large mixing bowl, and season with some salt and pepper.
  7. Then add the shredded chicken to the onion mixture plus 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, the diced green chilies, 1/2 cup of the jack cheese, 1/2 cup of the cheddar and 1/4 cup enchilada sauce.
Assembling the enchiladas
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and coat the bottom of a 9x13 dish with a light layer of cooking spray.
  2. Warm up the corn tortillas 2 at a time for about 20-30 seconds with a damp paper towel draped over them to keep them soft.
  3. Spoon just a little over 1/3 cup of the chicken mix in a line on one tortilla and roll up tightly. Place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling (I was able to line 10 tortillas in a row and then placed 2 length wise in the baking dish).
  4. Lightly brush the tops of the rolled tortillas with vegetable oil.
  5. Bake the dish for about 6-8 minutes or until the tops of the tortillas start to brown a little.
  6. Then take the dish out of the oven and lower the temp to 400 degrees F.
  7. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with the rest of the two cheeses (3/4 cup each).
  8. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 mins or until the meat is heated through.
  9. Then remove the aluminum foil and cook for about 5-7 minutes so the cheese can brown a bit.
  10. Last step! Remove from oven and let stand for about 10 minutes. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and then serve.


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  2 Responses to “Chicken Enchiladas”

  1. These enchiladas are calling my name something fierce! I want this!!

  2. These looks amazing. And I agree with the use of corn tortillas. So much better. Also, I am attempting your stout chocolate cake this weekend. Here’s hoping my ganache turns out as lovely as yours!

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