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Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Chicken enchiladas in a homemade red chili sauce with pickled jalapenos and plenty of cheese.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4


For the Sauce and Filling:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast meat or thighs (trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips)
  • 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 ounces pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)

For the Tortillas and Toppings:

  • 10 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 3 ounces grated Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (regular or light)
  • 1 avocado, diced medium (optional)
  • 5 leaves romaine lettuce (washed, dried, and shredded)
  • 2 limes (quartered)


Make the Sauce and Filling:

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds.
  • Add tomato sauce and 3/4 cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes.
  • Pour mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside.
  • Transfer chicken mixture to a large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.

Assemble and Bake Enchiladas:

  • Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray and bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes. Then increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, spread 3/4 cup enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish.
  • To fill tortillas, add 1/3 cup filling to each and roll tightly. Place into baking dish side by side, seam-side down.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and use a spoon to spread the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese down center of dish. Cover baking dish with foil.
  • Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce, and lime wedges separately.


Source: Adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Complete TV Show Cookbook
You're Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword chicken, gluten free, main dish, mexican