I honestly couldn’t tell all the places this Chicken Enchilada can be brought to – a potluck, a dinner party, a gathering for a live broadcast of a football game. I just couldn’t ask for anything more comforting than this dish, especially when the temperature’s starting to dip low.
What do you need for Chicken Enchiladas?
My enchilada filling is just chicken strips seasoned with herbs, garlic and chopped onions, then smothered in a creamy enchilada sauce and melted cheese. But please don’t hesitate to go for a mix of your favorite veggies.
Choosing the chicken
The chicken meat should be cooked through properly before shredded. Rotisserie chicken can also help pull this dish together, but in most cases, you may have to put forth more effort in tearing the whole chicken apart into small pieces. Sounds sweating enough to me.
Also, don’t you find that leftover cooked chicken can be a time-saving solution?
- Flour tortillas:
As we all know, flour tortillas are the most favored in restaurant since they can be rolled up with ease. But did you know that they are high in calories, saturated fat, sodium (up to 30% of the daily amount for an adult) and of course, with a higher GI? Though refined flour is hardly a huge concern for me, it may be something worth considering in your cooking routine. So think about it twice if you have certain heart diseases or serious issues due to high cholesterol intake.
Also, flour tortillas often have that doughy texture, which may leave you with a slightly harsh mouthfeel and overpower the taste of the filling.
Okay, I didn’t mean to make flour tortillas sound so shady so here’s a good news for those who’ve been, all their lives, obsessed with how crunchy burritos are thanks to flour tortillas – there’s such a thing as a whole wheat flour tortilla. It’s a healthier choice that helps fill you up longer. And in case you cannot find them on grocery racks, whole wheat flour tortillas can totally be homemade.
- Corn tortillas:
All tortillas can be home-made, if that’s ever been your curiosity. I don’t know you, but to me, corn tortillas are even easier to pull out. They’re naturally a whole grain food, and can also be easily found. For the purpose of making rolls, you might want to keep one more thing in mind: all in all, corn tortillas can be smaller in size than flour tortillas, though that still varies in different retailers.
But still, it’s worth being precautious when purchasing corn tortillas. On any package, there must be ‘whole grain corn’ printed, otherwise, you may mistakenly pick the ‘degermed corn’ tortillas. Degermed corn tortillas are not whole grain or contain as many nutrients. Most of their vitamins and minerals have been spoiled during manufacture.
- Cassava flour tortillas:
Gluten-free, nut-free and grain-free, cassava tortillas are suitable for those who are vegan, vegetarian, paleo dieters and gluten-intolerant. They are actually better at not falling apart when rolled up with the filling, unlike corn tortillas.
The cassava root is peeled, dried and ground to knead into tortillas, so it’s no surprise that cassava tortillas have a pretty high carb profile and high dietary fiber. This can lead to a certain spike on your insulin level.
Alright, enough talk about tortillas, I’m getting dizzy already. Choosing the suitable tortilla for your taste and dietary style is one thing, the rest should depend more on the filling and toppings. Keep checking it out down below.
Choosing the filling
Here are some veggie options that you may enjoy for your own-made filling:
- Roasted beans or corn
- Peppers or zucchini
- Finely chopped tomatoes
Choosing the toppings
Your chicken enchiladas just cannot be as expected without being piled high with toppings and basted all over. Besides the heaping layers of cheese and Enchilada sauce, this dish should absolutely be stacked with spoonfuls of sour cream, generous dollops of guacamole or even extra tortilla strips (yeah well, not like I haven’t had it enough with the tortillas).
The rich, creamy enchilada sauce
Even if this dish hasn’t come to your attention until now, I still bet on certainty that you’ve heard of ‘enchilada sauce’ at least once, here and there, maybe when strolling through Costco or food outlets. But hold your horses, we’re not going for any store-bought, processed one, not this time (and possibly, never again).
My home-made enchilada sauce is simply chicken broth base thickened with tomato sauce, supported by a small kick from splashes of chili powder and ground cumin. Those all come together in a blender for an authentically complex warmth but not too tangy a taste. It’s totally not so mouthful to say enchilada sauce is one of the most pleasant sauces I’ve ever made. I also love the fact that enchilada sauce can be repurposed for tons of other dishes and not just these enchiladas rolls alone.
I find myself so easily satisfied with everything-tomato-sauce, and its consistency. But if your sauce comes out too watery and it somehow makes your rolls unwantedly soggy, then adding more starch (such as flour) to the sauce won’t bring any harm either.
How long does enchilada sauce last in the fridge?
Roughly one week in the fridge, and three months in the freezer. Basically, it’s a ready-to-go sauce whenever you’re in need. So, just make a super big batch of this sauce in advance. We all need a sauce that’s full of good things all the time, right?
Can you make Chicken Enchiladas ahead of time?
Absolutely! I doubt that you even had to ask.
Simply assemble the fresh tortilla rolls in the baking sheet without the enchilada sauce and cheese, then pop them to the fridge. These tortilla rolls are super easy to be frozen or reheated. Not until your rolls are about to go into the oven should the sauce and cheese be poured on top. The process is simple as that.
Oh and I have also seen people quickly fry the corn tortillas so they’re crispy outside and not soggy afterwards. I haven’t been able to try this method yet. How about you tell me how it works for you?
That’s it for now folks. I hope this recipe about chicken enchiladas becomes one of your favorites! Oh, don’t forget to pay a visit to my chicken shwarma recipe, too. I’m sure you’ll like it. I’ll see you next time! 🙂
Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
The chicken filling
- 9 oz skinless boneless chicken breast 1 1/2 medium
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 tbsp canola oil
- 1.4 oz onion 1/4 medium, diced
- 2.5 oz green bell pepper 1/2 medium, diced
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 oz corn 1 large ear, frozen or canned
- 5 oz canned dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped, for garnish
The enchilada sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 tbsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup Hunt's unsalted tomato sauce
- 2/3 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 Mission yellow corn tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook 6-8 min per side to make sure they are cooked through.
- Put the cooked chicken in a bowl and shred with two forks. Set aside.
The enchilada sauce
- Heat the pan with 1/4 cup olive oil and the rest of enchilada sauce ingredients in. Stir for about 3 min and set aside.
The chicken filling
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in the pan.
- Add the onions and cook for about 2 min.
- Add the green bell peppers and cook for about 1 min.
- Add the corn, shredded chicken, black bean and half of the enchilada sauce mixture. Mix to combine.
- Place one tortilla on a flat surface. Spoon the chicken filling on to the tortilla and start rolling. We’re making 12 rolls, so try to divide it evenly.
- Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Brush half of the remaining sauce on the paper.
- Arrange the tortilla rolls onto the tray.
- Pour the remaining half of enchilada sauce on top. Top with cheese.
- Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 min.