Saturday, February 1, 2014

Red Enchiladas

When I came back after the holidays, I brought 180 corn tortillas with me in my suitcase.  I have yet to find decent ones here and was really missing them.  Now I have a freezer full, which makes me super happy.

So, I was pretty excited to bust out some of my stash for these enchiladas.  And, I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe because it changed my mind about red enchiladas, which aren't usually my fave.  These are simple, flavorful, and freeze well.  This is a recipe I will definitely come back to often.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas 
  • salt and pepper 

In a large saucepan, combine onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil.  

Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes.  

Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds.  

Stir in tomato sauce and water.  Bring to a simmer.  

Nestle the chicken into the sauce.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts.  

Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.  

Continue to simmer the sauce over heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  

Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.  

Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.  

Transfer the onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside. 

Shred the chicken and add it to the bowl with the onion mixture.  

Add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup jack cheese, and cilantro and mix well.   

Wrap 4-5 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 45 seconds-1 minute, or until warm and pliable.  

Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into each tortilla, tightly roll, and lay seam side down in a greased baking dish.  

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  

Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese.  

Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through.    

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese browns.  

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and chopped cilantro. 

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