now usually you’ll find chicken enchiladas with a verde or tomatillo sauce, which is what i always order at any mexican restaurant. but these are such a lovely departure from the standard. and oh so yummy.
this recipe is a result of two or three different recipes (see bottom for sources) that i used to make it my own. i tweaked it until it was perfect. it is probably the best enchilada plate i have had, maybe ever, and i highly recommend you make it. right now.
chicken enchiladas with red chile sauce
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (you can leave in the seeds if you want some extra heat)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (2 swirls around the pan)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles (do not drain)
4.5 oz. can diced green chiles (do not drain)
1 lb./2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (*or you can use about 2 cups pre-cooked rotisserie chicken)
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for garnish)
10-12 corn tortillas
4 oz. sour cream (half of a small container)
1. preheat oven to 400. shred cheeses and toss together in a bowl – set aside. grease a 9×13 baking dish.
2. put oil in a large saucepan on medium/medium-low heat. add in onion, jalapeño, and 1/2 tsp salt. stirring often, cook until the onions & jalapenos have softened, about 5-8 minutes. add garlic and cook about 30-60 seconds, to soften. add chili powder, cumin, and sugar and cook another 30 seconds or so. stir in the tomato sauce, water, rotel, and green chiles. bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. (*if you are using rotisserie chicken, let the sauce cook another 10-15 minutes or so, then move on to #3.) nestle the chicken into the sauce. reduce heat to low, cover & cook 10-12 minutes. flip chicken breasts over, and continue to cook 10-12 minutes more. transfer chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.
3. strain the sauce mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. add 4 oz. sour cream to the sauce and whisk until lumps have disappeared.
4. with two forks, shred the cooked chicken breasts. add cooked chicken to the onion mixture, and add 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of cheese, and the cilantro. toss to combine. wrap tortillas in a paper towel and soften in the microwave for about 45 seconds. on a clean surface or large plate, spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. tightly roll each enchilada and lay seam-side down in the baking dish. pour sauce evenly on top and then cover with remaining cheese.
5. cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. remove foil and cook another 5-7 minutes, until the cheese has browned. remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before digging in. top each serving with freshly chopped cilantro.