Simple Chicken Enchiladas2013-04-11
- Yield : 12
- Servings : 6
- Prep Time : 15m
- Cook Time : 20m
- Ready In : 35m
This information is per serving.
Calories from Fat135
Serving Size:2 enchiladas
Mexican food, or what Americans believe is Mexican food, has taken the United States by storm. Some say it is the number 1 ethnic cuisine followed by Italian food. But most ethnic cuisines are nothing like their true origins.
The simply, inexpensive Sonoran and Tex-Mex foods popular in the U.S. are essentially tacos (appetizers or snack foods). Some high-end Mexican restaurant offer menu items closer to true Mexican cuisine influenced by native Americans and the Spanish.
Three popular Mexican food foods thanks to several fast food chains are tacos, tostadas, and enchiladas. Rolled up enchiladas are Mexican manicotti. Enchiladas can be filled with cheese, chicken, beef, seafood, or vegetables.
This recipe uses canned enchilada sauce which is convenient but can be high in sodium. Store bought rotisserie chicken can be substituted for the fresh chicken breast again increasing the amount of sodium.
Enchiladas are made using corn tortillas usually served with a milder, relatively speaking, red chili sauce made using tomatoes. The alternative is green chili sauce made using tomatillos. You can buy and use either red or green chili sauce. For a lower sodium alternative, you can make red chili sauce in a few minutes. The recipe is linked below.
Tortillas can be heated in a microwave oven. Oven power varies. Adjust heating time until the tortillas are soft. Do not overheat or they will dry out.
Corn vs. Flour Tortillas
Traditional enchiladas are made using corn tortillas. Corn is abundant in Mexico. Corn tortillas have fewer additives and far less sodium than flour tortillas.
Until recently, prepared corn tortillas available at most grocers are about 5″ in diameter. About 50% smaller than restaurant enchilada tortillas. In 2017, I bought super-sized 6″ diameter corn tortillas with about 45% larger area. Either size can be used in this recipe. The large size will produce 6 to 8 enchiladas versus 12 for the 5″ tortillas.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Side Dish Recipes
- 1 1/4 lbs. (570 g) fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 lb. shredded cooked chicken breast
- 28 oz. (793 g, 3 to 4 cups) can red or green chili enchilada sauce
- 12 corn tortillas (5" diameter)
- 4 oz. (112 g) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Method of Preparation
Slice chicken breasts 1 to 2 inches thick. Remove any fat.
Bring one quart of water to a boil and cook chicken over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken and shred using your hands or two forks.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the sauce over low heat until heated through.
Discard water from cooking the chicken. Add chicken and about 1 1/2 cup (360 ml) of warm sauce to the pan. Simmer over low heat about 5 minutes. If desired, add additional 1/4 cup of sauce, water or broth. Chicken should be moist and not dry.
Assembling the Enchiladas
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
If tortillas are fresh and pliable you can skip this step. Otherwise, arrange the tortillas on a large plate, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high 40 to 60 seconds.
Evenly spread about 1 cup (240 ml) of sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Place about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of a tortilla, roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese has melted and enchilada are heated through. Cool 5 minutes and serve.