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The Whole Chicken Enchilada

enchiladasWhen it comes to enchiladas why would you want anything less than the whole? Just think: no one ever asks for half a steak or a quarter salad. Why should enchiladas be any different? Anything less than the whole enchilada would be the same as ordering one bun for your burger, or only a bowl of beans for your chili. If you were vacationing in the Riviera Maya, you wouldn’t ask for the beach without the sand or expect to get a daiquiri without the glass would you? That’s what we thought. With our version of this classic Mexican dish, you will always get the whole enchilada.


Serves 4                                        Total Time: 60 Minutes [15 minutes preparation; 45 minutes cooking]


The Sauce                                                                                                    The Filling

1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                                                  2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 large garlic cloves, minced                                                    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

3 whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped                   1 1/2 cups red onion, diced

2 dried chipotle chiles, stems and seeds removed, diced         Salt (to taste)

2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder                                                          1 large clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons cumin powder                                                             1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups chicken broth                                                                        Cooking spray (nonstick)

3 cups tomato sauce                                                                         12 (6-inch diameter) corn tortillas

1/2 teaspoon salt                                                                               2 cups shredded queso fresco

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


For the sauce:

1. In a medium sauce pan, heat the oil over high heat and combine the chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Set aside until ready to use.

For the filling:

1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken until cooked through, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Add the onions to the same pan containing the chicken drippings along with a generous pinch of salt. Decrease the heat to medium-low and sweat the onions for 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes more.

2. Shred the cooked chicken using two forks and add the chicken back to the pan. Mix the chicken with the onions and herbs in the pan and remove from the heat.

3. Spray a large baking dish with cooking oil. Place the 1/2 cup of sauce into the bottom of the dish. Using another large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in the remaining enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla. Fold over the filling with the edge of the tortilla and place each enchilada in the baking dish, seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.*

4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) in the middle rack for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbling.

* BT Tip: Substitute a cheddar and jack grated cheese mix for the queso fresco to get a sharper taste.

12 replies »

  1. I bet this packs a punch! Sounds fantastic 🙂 (thanks for your kind words the other day- I’m struggling for time getting around to everyone to say thank you)

  2. Umm … wow. Why can’t I at least have smellovision on this computer? I tried licking the screen and got the shock of my life. Hugely disappointing.
    But now I’m writing out my grocery list for tomorrow’s dinner. I. Can’t. Wait.

    • Your comment had me hysterically laughing while I attempted to sift flour for another recipe (not a good idea, I learned)! So, how did the screen taste? Hope your enchilada comes out as yummy as you hoped!

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