My Chicken Enchiladas are in the top three requests from my children. I think you know that the two other requests are my Macaroni N Cheese and my Chicken Milanese. For this recipe, I love the spices I added to the chicken. I got to say that the chicken is so good that I need to make the chicken by itself at some future date. Each component of this dish has flavor. That is what makes this dish so good and more than just a chicken enchilada.
As I often wonder, where did the enchilada originate. The enchilada originated from pre-Colombian times when the Mayans first invented the tortilla. The Aztecs would wrap the tortillas around pieces of fish or meat. It even suggests that they fried the tortillas and covered with salsa and cheese. This is what we all know as today’s enchilada.
The very first time I made this recipe, I followed The Pioneer Woman’s directions. I have made this so many times now, that I make this dish from memory. The one key step I picked up from The Pioneer Woman is to make a small simple roux before adding in the enchilada sauce. This thickens up the sauce really nicely. The traditional recipe calls for pan frying your tortillas before dipping them into the enchilada sauce but I have never found this step necessary.
I will say that assembling the dish is a little messy. I use my hands to dip the tortillas into the enchilada sauce. So when I go to grab the chicken and the cheese for the filing, my messy hands are reaching into the chicken and cheese. Since each ingredient is ending up all in the same place, I never mind the messiness. The only problem is to remember not to lick my fingers as I assemble each enchilada.
- 29 ounce can of Enchilada sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 10 chicken thighs (only 3 or so used for this recipe)
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoon adobo seasoning
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 2 teaspoon annatto seasoning
- 2 teaspoon smoked Spanish seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 8 tortillas
- 24 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
- Start by adding the the spices to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Marinate for 2 hours or overnight if you have time.
- Next, heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil.
- When warm, add the chicken with marinade into the skillet. Sear for 3 minutes on each side.
- Place in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove and let cool. Once cool, pull the chicken.
- In a pot on medium heat, melt the butter, and then, add the flour.
- Once combined, add the enchilada sauce and cook for 5 plus minutes until it thickens.
- To assemble the enchiladas, take the tortillas and drop into the enchilada sauce one at a time.
- The enchiladas are assembled one at a time.
- After the first tortilla has been dipped in the sauce, place into a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Add 3 ounces or so of the chicken and 2 ounces of the cheese to one of the enchilada soaked tortilla.
- Roll up the tortilla and tuck into one side of the baking dish.
- Repeat rolling the remaining 7 tortillas with the chicken and cheese. Fill the baking dish.
- Pour the remaining sauce on top of the enchiladas.
- Top with another 8 ounces or so of cheese.
- Place in the oven and cook for 3 minutes or so until you get a good melt of the cheese.
- Serve and enjoy!
Adding spices and marinating the chicken.
Putting the marinated chicken in the skillet to cook.
The chicken is pulled. The enchilada sauce is made. The enchiladas are assembled by dropping the tortillas into the enchilada sauce. After pulling out the tortilla, the chicken and cheese is added. The tortilla is then rolled up and placed in the baking dish. After all the enchiladas are rolled up and placed in the baking dish, top with cheese and bake. Grab a couple and dig in.