Chicken enchiladas might look formidably difficult. With layers of cheese and homemade enchilada sauce stacked on top of stuffed tortillas, they seem like lasagna on steroids. But don’t let looks deceive you. Enchiladas are not only incredibly easy to make but also perfect for feeding a crowd. They’re an all-encompassing main, and so vividly flavorful that no one will complain if you skip out on the side dishes and let enchiladas be the sole star on your feast table.
For this recipe, I like to use guajillo spiced red chili red sauce. Guajillo chilis have a sweet almost cranberry-like undertone, which gives a hint of sweet spiciness to the tangy tomato sauce. Also, as guajillo chili is only mildly spicy (2500-5000 SHU), it does not overshadow the savory juiciness of chicken stuffing, creamy meatiness of refried beans, and mellow butteriness of Oaxaca.
How to get tortillas to hold their shape?
It’s not a pretty picture, when tortilla melts and disintegrates into the sauce, the stuffing leaks out, and you end up with a big soupy mess instead of enchiladas. The only way around murphy’s law, for enchiladas, is frying the tortillas before stuffing and rolling them up. Frying tortillas, for just a minute on each side, will prevent them from becoming soggy and also make them more pliable for rolling.
Making Chicken Enchiladas:
Make the chicken stuffing:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Add cubed chicken pieces. Mix and cook for 5 minutes, till chicken begins to change color. Add jalapenos, salt, and ground pepper. Mix well and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or till chicken is tender.
Assemble and Bake Chicken Enchiladas:
To assemble enchiladas, place a fried tortilla on a flat surface. Spread 1 to 2 tbsps of red sauce generously on it. Add refried beans on top. Next, scoop in a generous portion of chicken stuffing, and top off with grated cheese. Wrap the tortilla and place it in a greased/silicon baking tray. Repeat with other tortillas. Pour red sauce over tortillas, such that they’re completely doused in it. Sprinkle shredded cotija cheese on top, and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F. Rest for 5 minutes. Top off with fresh cilantro, slice, and serve!
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 tbsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 cup refried beans
2 cups of grated Oaxaca (or any other cheese of your choice)
2 cups of guajillo spiced red sauce
3 to 4 sprigs of cilantro
1 cup Cotija cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute onions for 2 minutes till translucent and tender. Add chicken, jalapenos, salt, and pepper. Mix and cook for 10 minutes, till chicken is thoroughly cooked.
- Place fried tortilla on a flat surface. Spread guajillo spiced red sauce. Add refried beans, chicken, and cheese. Wrap the tortilla and line them in a greased/silicon baking tray.
- Top off with shredded cheese and bake at for 20 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes and serve hot!