Today’s recipe for Chicken Enchiladas is one of our family’s favorites and something that I have been making for many years. It is easy to make and always a popular meal. It is filling and healthy thanks to the chicken filling. I hope you give it a try; it just may become a go-to for you too!
This makes great leftovers too. Go ahead and make the chicken enchiladas one day and reheat and serve it the next. Talk about an easy dinner party entrée!
If you are in a real hurry, you can substitute store-bought enchilada sauce, but I encourage you to make your own from scratch. It tastes so much better and is really simple to make.
You start this recipe by browning the chicken in a little olive oil. Remove it from the pan and use the drippings to cook your vegetables and sauce ingredients. This adds layers of flavor and makes your homemade sauce a game changer for these chicken enchiladas.
The trick to keeping the chicken tender is to finish it in the sauce, cooking it to 162°F and let it rest for about 10 minutes, which will give it time to finish cooking. Conveniently, this is about as long as it takes to puree the sauce!
Speaking of pureeing, have you bought yourself an immersion blender yet? This is one of those kitchen tools that is incredibly handy to have and can be used for a number of tasks. There is nothing better for pureeing soups and sauces! Most have whisk attachments so you can use them to make whipped cream, smoothies, and other whipped concoctions. Once you have one of these blenders, you won’t believe how you cooked without one!
I hope you try this recipe for our favorite chicken enchiladas soon and enjoy them as much as my family and I do. Have a wonderful weekend!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Family Favorite Chicken Enchiladas:
- Boneless chicken breasts, oil, onion and garlic powders, cumin
- Oregano, onion, bell pepper, celery, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce
- Lime, chili powder, water, hot sauce, corn tortillas, grated cheese
- Sour cream, avocados, cilantro
To make sure no one gets sick from cross contamination of raw poultry, wash your plates and tongs each time they touch the chicken. This is especially important if you are cooking for people with compromised immune systems.
If you want a short-cut, use a rotisserie chicken from the store and take the meat off the bones. Cut into small bite-sized pieces. Use a couple tablespoons of oil to sauté the vegetables for the sauce.
How to make Family Favorite Chicken Enchiladas:
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the seasonings and brown on both sides then transfer to a plate; in the same pan sauté the onion, bell pepper, and celery until softened then add remaining sauce ingredients and cook 5 minutes on medium heat
- Return the chicken to the sauce, reduce to medium-low and cook 4 minutes; turn the chicken over, cover the pan, and cook until the chicken reaches 162°F on an instant read thermometer
- Transfer chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep warm; blend the sauce, partially pureeing it, taste and adjust seasonings adding hot sauce to taste if desired
- Cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces and return to the sauce to rewarm; steam the tortillas in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to soften them
- Fill each tortilla with some of the chicken, roll them up and place them seam-side down in an oiled 9×13-inch baking pan; spread the remaining sauce over the tops of the enchiladas and top with grated cheese, then cover the pan with foil and place in a 300°F oven
- Bake until hot, about 30 minutes; serve 2 enchiladas per plate and top with some sour cream, avocado slices, and cilantro if desired and serve immediately
If you have never tackled a fresh avocado, it can be intimidating. Use a sharp paring knife and make a slice into one end. Holding the edge of the knife against the pit in the center, roll the avocado, drawing the blade of the knife around the pit and splitting the fruit into two pieces lengthwise.
Tap the pit with the knife blade until it sticks in the pit (this does not require a lot of force). Twist the knife, pulling the pit out and discard it. Use a large kitchen spoon, and holding it as close to the peel as possible, scoop out the flesh of the avocado. Set it cut side down on a cutting board and use the knife to cut it into thick slices.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Box grater
- 9×13-inch baking pan
- Large skillet
- Instant read thermometer
- Immersion blender, food processor, or blender
When you are buying corn tortillas, be sure to check the label for the addition of wheat – a common occurrence that you want to avoid. Also, whenever you are using canned or bottled food products, be careful to check that they are safe for your friends and family to consume. Spices are another place gluten can hide. I like the McCormick’s and Penzeys spices because they list all the ingredients and, in some cases, label their products gluten-free.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- Organic olive oil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped finely
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped finely
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with their juice
- 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 to 3 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ancho chili powder or regular chili powder
- Pinch sugar, optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup water, if needed
- Hot sauce, optional
- Fresh 8-inch diameter corn tortillas (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Sour cream, optional
- Fresh avocados, optional
- Fresh cilantro, optional
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch pan; set aside. Set
tortillas out on the counter to warm up.
- Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet, heat 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. While the oil is heat, season chicken breasts on both sides with the onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and oregano. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Using tongs, add chicken to the pan and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Make the Sauce: To the same skillet, add the onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook, stirring often until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, lime juice, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Stir to blend, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Using tongs, return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, nestling it down into the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over, cover the pan, and cook until the chicken registers 162°F on an instant read thermometer. The timing will vary depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts, about another 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and keep warm.
- Use an immersion blender to partially puree the sauce, leaving some chunks of tomato if desired. Alternately, transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender and pulse until mostly pureed. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings with sugar, salt and pepper as desired. Add the water if the sauce is too thick. If you like a spicy sauce, add hot sauce to taste.
- Slice the chicken breasts and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pan to reheat in the sauce.
- Assemble the Enchiladas: Place a pile of tortillas on a plate and top with a second plate, upside down, to create a covered container to hold in the steam. Microwave for about 20 to 30 seconds to heat and soften the tortillas in the steam.
- Holding a tortilla flat in the palm of one hand, use a slotted spoon to place some of the saucy chicken in the center of the tortilla. Carefully roll it up and place it seam-side-down in the prepared baking pan. Continue filling and rolling the tortillas, snugging them close together in the pan until you run out of tortillas, chicken, or space. The total number of enchiladas you get will depend on how full you make each one. The more chicken you put inside, the fatter they will be - there is no wrong way to make an enchilada!
- Bake the Enchiladas: Once all the enchiladas are rolled and the pan is full, spoon some of the remaining sauce down the center of the enchiladas (see photo above). Sprinkle the tops with the cheese, cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the hot oven. Bake until they filling is hot, tortillas are steamed and cheese is melted, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- For Serving: Use a flexible spatula to serve two enchiladas per plate. Top them with a dollop of sour cream, avocado slices and sprinkled with cilantro if desired. All you need to add is a tossed green salad for a filling and healthy meal. Serve immediately.
- Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 466mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 31g
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