Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I made these chicken enchiladas that turned out fantastic! It was my first time making enchiladas, but it was super easy and pretty fun to do. This is a great dish to make plenty of extras for left overs, and giving to friends/family.
Here’s what you’ll need to make as much as 16 enchiladas but you can adjust as needed by dividing by 2 for 8 enchiladas…and would you ever want to make less? You’ll need:
- For slow-cooking the chicken:
- A whole chicken; you’ll have extras for sandwiches or soups.
- slow cooker;
- 1/2 an onion chopped;
- 2 carrots chopped;
- 2-3 celery sticks chopped;
- chicken broth (optional);
- Spices/ dry rub;
- crushed or minced garlic
- For the enchiladas:
- shredded chicken
- 8 to 16 corn tortillas.
- Red enchilada sauce (24-28 oz) (quality goes a long way here);
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese;
- Queso fresco (optional);
- 1/2 onion diced;
- 1 can of Ortega (or hatch) chilies. Canned chilies are great;
- 1 can of black olives;
- Chopped cilantro.
First, prepare to cook the whole chicken in a slow cooker on high for about 4.5 hours. Thoroughly rub your choosing of spices and garlic all over the chicken. In this recipe, I used equal parts of: brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, kosher salt, white pepper, and crushed garlic. After removing the giblets from the inside of the chicken stuff the cavity with a mixture of chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Throw some more of the mixture on the bottom of the slow cooker so the chicken sits on top. Cook on high for 4.5 hours. Optional: add a 1/2 cup of chicken broth to get some great left over broth for soup later.
After it’s all finished, carefully take out the chicken and place it on a cutting board to carve/shred the chicken. I chose to mix up all the dark and white meat together because it all tastes so good. Once shredded, allow it to cool down.
Heat up a medium saucepan with about 24-28 oz. of enchilada red sauce. Add about 1.5 to 2 cups of chicken broth. Salt and Pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the meantime, heat a bit of canola oil (you can feel free to sub olive oil here, just turn down the heat a smidge) a skillet to lightly fry the corn tortillas so they’re soft and flexible, but not crispy. Corn tortillas will begin to get little air bubbles in them when hot, take them off just as they start to appear. Do the whole batch and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Prepare a filling station: get all the ingredients you want in the enchilada in one place so you can quickly fill and roll the tortillas.
- Pour about 1/2 to 1 cup of the sauce into a baking dish.
- Place the tortilla in your left hand. Spoon some green chilies on, followed by a little bit of black olives and diced onions. The amounts are up to you, but don’t skimp on the chilies.
- Put chicken on top of the toppings, mix in a little shredded cheese.
- Roll them all up in the tortilla and place seam-down in the baking dish.
- Continue to place the rolled tortillas side by side in the baking dish until its full.
- Top with shredded cheese, crumbled queso fresco (optional), sour cream, chopped cilantro, and any remaining toppings left over from the filling station.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes to get a little crisp on the edges.
Serving suggestions: refried beans with queso fresco topping and Mexican rice. 3