Welcome to the ultimate cooking guide that will serve you delicious Chicken Enchiladas in 30 minutes! Whether you're a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of creating mouthwatering chicken enchiladas that are bursting with flavour and perfect for any occasion. Say goodbye to lengthy preparation times and hello to a quick and satisfying meal that will impress your friends and family.
The art of crafting Chicken Enchiladas in only 30 minutes with our comprehensive cooking guide. Perfect for all skill levels, create a flavorful masterpiece without the hassle. Get ready to savour every bite!
Table of Contents
The Historical Origin of Enchiladas
Historians posit that the roots of enchiladas trace back to Aztec times, originating from the practice of wrapping or folding food within corn tortillas. (The term "enchilada" finds its roots in the Spanish verb "enchilar," signifying "to the season with chilli.")
Through centuries and subsequent decades, myriad enchilada variations took shape, each rooted in specific Mexican regions and neighbouring Latin American countries like Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Naturally, these culinary gems gained substantial popularity in the United States, particularly within the realms of New Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.
This chicken enchilada recipe predominantly aligns with the styles found in Tex-Mex and New Mexican traditions, notably utilizing flour tortillas (though corn tortillas are equally suitable). The filling boasts a combination of green chiles and tender shredded cheese; all enveloped in a red chile sauce that intriguingly omits tomatoes.
Chicken Enchilada Ingredients
For this enchilada recipe, you'll need the following ingredients:
Usually, opt for store-bought corn tortillas, though you can choose flour tortillas if you prefer. If you're up for making your own, there are recipes for both homemade corn tortillas and simple flour tortillas.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
For a quick Tex-Mex variation, try this easy enchilada sauce crafted from chilli powder, tomato paste, and broth. Alternatively, discover my family's authentic enchilada sauce, which combines whole dried chillies and Mexican chocolate. Both recipes are straightforward to create and freeze, making them perfect for large batches.
A store-bought rotisserie chicken can save some prep time in this recipe. But this shredded chicken recipe card is super easy to make. Utilize any leftover shredded chicken you have on hand. Should you need to whip up a batch, I've included a straightforward shredded chicken recipe you can effortlessly make at home. In a pinch, consider purchasing a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store and shredding it yourself.
Pre-shredded "Mexican-style" cheese is readily available in most supermarkets. For a truly authentic touch, explore the world of genuine Mexican cheeses. A blend of Oaxaca or Asadero varieties is recommended for that extra touch of authenticity.
Gather the ensemble of flavours and textures for this culinary masterpiece:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil): A drizzle of liquid gold, be it avocado oil or the timeless olive oil, to orchestrate the sautéing symphony.
- 1 small white onion, peeled and diced: A humble yet pivotal ensemble member, the onion lends its sweet aroma and savoury notes to the culinary composition.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1/2-inch pieces: Tender morsels of chicken mixture, meticulously prepared and chopped to perfection, ready to infuse the dish with their succulent character.
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles: A can of diced green chiles, each piece a green note in the culinary symphony. Their mild heat and subtle tang contribute a harmonious undertone.
- Sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper: Seasoning, the conductor's wand in this orchestration. A sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of freshly cracked black pepper reveal each ingredient's nuances.
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained: Black beans, rinsed and renewed, making their entrance to enrich the ensemble with their velvety texture and earthy depth.
- 8 large flour tortillas: Pliable canvases ready to encase the flavours and textures in a delicate embrace, a testament to the culinary artistry.
- 3 cups of Cheese: A melodic blend of cheeses, perfectly shredded and poised to enrobe the dish with its melty, harmonious crescendo.
- 1 batch red/green enchilada sauce: A masterful sauce, rich and vibrant, draping the ensemble in a passionate cloak of flavour, a definitive stroke in the culinary canvas.
- baking dish, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp of Ground cumin, 1/2 tsp of onion powder
- Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, chopped red onions, diced avocado, sour cream, and/or crumbled cotija cheese: An invitation to adorn and personalize, these optional toppings stand ready to grace the dish with their fresh, creamy, and tangy contributions, adding layers of indulgence.
How to Make Chicken Enchiladas?
Setting up the stage: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. Grease a casserole dish and craft your enticing enchilada sauce. This step is pivotal for achieving that signature flavour.
Crafting the filling symphony: Initiate the culinary ballet in a spacious sauté pan over medium-high heat. Enrich it with a drizzle of oil, then add the onion, conducting a three-minute sauté while occasionally stirring in a baking dish. In this harmonious blend, introduce the diced chicken and green chiles, adorning them with a lavish pinch of salt and pepper. Let this medley dance on medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. The grand finale of beans makes its entrance, orchestrated to blend seamlessly. Remove the pan from the heat as the crescendo builds, granting the ensemble a brief pause.
Choreographing the enchilada assembly: The stage is now set for the assembly ritual. Arrange the elements - tortillas, enchanting enchilada sauce, the chicken symphony, and the velvety cheese - in a poised assembly line. The star, a tortilla, takes the spotlight as a canvas for your masterpiece. With finesse, anoint it with two tablespoons of sauce. Centre stage beckons the chicken opus, a spoonful elegantly laid down. As the curtain rises, the cheese cascade descends, adding its rich harmony. The tortilla becomes a roll, a dancer in this culinary waltz, earning its place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking stage. The ensemble repeats its dance until the final note.
The climax and the final bow: As the anticipation crescendos, the remaining sauce drapes the enchiladas with its flavorful embrace. Sprinkles of Cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese, and a shower of culinary confetti, follow suit. The curtain lifts, and the stage transforms into an oven, a space of transformation. For 20 minutes, the enchiladas bask in this transformative crucible. They emerge with a texture of crispy elegance, signalling their readiness for the next act. The final bow occurs on a wire baking rack, a moment of cooling reflection.
The grand finale: The spotlight is now on you, the conductor of this gastronomic performance. Season with salt and pepper and present the enchiladas in all their melty glory, adorned with a cascade of fresh toppings. As you savour each bite, relish in the symphony of flavours, for this dish is meant to be enjoyed thoroughly. Bravo!
What to Serve?
Consider these delightful enhancements to crown your enchilada creation:
- Guacamole - An invitation to creamy indulgence, guacamole presents itself as a luxurious option for topping your enchiladas. Its velvety texture and vibrant flavours elevate each bite to an artful experience.
- Salsa - A symphony of zesty notes, salsa stands ready to revitalize your enchiladas. Its medley of tomatoes, peppers, and spices sparks a dance of flavours that complements the dish's richness.
- Sour Cream - A dollop of lusciousness, sour cream lends a cooling counterpoint to the warmth of the enchiladas. Its subtle tang and smooth consistency create a harmonious balance on the palate.
- Avocado - A slice of avocado, buttery and tender, offers a touch of natural decadence. Its presence invokes a fresh, earthy contrast that resonates elegantly with the dish's essence.
- Chopped Red Onion or Green Onion - These crisp accents provide both colour and crunch, weaving a textual tapestry that adds layers of delight to each bite. Red onion lends a hint of pungency, while green onion offers a milder, herbaceous note.
- Chopped fresh Cilantro - An herbaceous flourish, chopped cilantro imparts a burst of aromatic freshness. Its vibrant green hue and citrusy undertones harmonize seamlessly with the enchiladas' robust flavours.
In accompaniment, we extend an invitation to a culinary ensemble:
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans - A partner in nourishment, these beans offer a velvety texture and a hearty, comforting taste. Prepared with convenience in mind, they effortlessly harmonize with the main performance.
- Instant Pot Black Beans - Embark on a journey of richness with these black beans, tender and flavoured. Their earthy undertones form a duet with the enchiladas, creating a satisfying melody.
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice - An ode to tradition, Mexican rice makes its presence known as a timeless sidekick. Infused with aromatic spices, it adds depth and character to the culinary experience.
- Green Salad - A verdant interlude, a green salad provides a refreshing pause within the gastronomic narrative. Its crispness and vibrant assortment of leaves interlace with the main act, offering a refreshing contrast.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe Tips
- For this recipe, employing a blend of cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses is a good option. Alternatively, utilizing a singular cheese variety or opting for a Mexican cheese blend also yields favourable results.
- Positioning the filling along the centre of the tortillas warrants a slight offset from the exact midpoint. This strategic placement facilitates the seamless rolling of the enchiladas, ensuring a compact and snug result.
- Enchiladas prove to be an excellent option for advanced preparation. The assemblage of the enchiladas can occur up to a day prior to baking, with storage in the refrigerator until the baking moment arrives. Furthermore, freezing an airtight container of yet-to-be-baked enchiladas within up to 3 months remains a viable option. Upon thawing overnight in the refrigerator, follow the baking instructions outlined in the recipe.
- Reserved portions of baked enchiladas find a temporary home in either the refrigerator, where they remain viable for up to 3 days, or the freezer, where their shelf life extends to 3 months. A reheating process involves thawing if frozen and reheating until achieving steaming hotness. Microwave reheating is the preferred method for evenly reheating the dish.
The nutritional profile of this offering at per serve is as follows:
This culinary journey of preparing Chicken Enchiladas encapsulates a symphony of flavours and textures that come together to create a remarkable chicken enchiladas experience. With carefully chosen ingredients, strategic techniques, and optional embellishments, each bite becomes a testament to the art of gastronomy. Every detail has been orchestrated for your enjoyment, from the harmonious blend of cheeses to the precise placement of fillings within tortillas.
What are chicken enchiladas made of?
It is made of corn tortillas stuffed with a mixture of shredded chicken and cheese. It is topped with lots of cheese and the best enchilada sauce.
What is the secret to good enchiladas?
The most important tip for avoiding soggy enchiladas is to briefly fry your tortillas in hot oil before you fill and roll.
What is an enchilada?
Enchiladas are similar to a burrito. They consist of a corn or flour tortilla, stuffed with fillings and wrapped tightly.
What do enchiladas smell like?
Enchiladas have a beefy, cheesy, oily, saucy smell.