Authentic Chicken Enchilada Recipe with Red Sauce (Enchiladas Rojas)

Choosing an authentic chicken enchilada recipe to share with you here has been a difficult task! I have tried so many delicious variations of this dish in the past few months–there are so many dried chilies you can use to make Mexican enchiladas rojas that there’s almost an endless amount of ways you can cook Mexican chicken recipes like this. Just to make the red enchilada sauce, you can use dried chiles like guallio, morita, ancho; or you can use just use fresh chiles like serrano or jalapeno; or often both are used. There’s a ton of variations of this recipe, and like I said, choosing the best enchilada recipe to share with you here has been a challenge to say the least, but I’ve found a great one to share with you, here.

Chicken enchiladas with red sauce are served all over Mexico, in the main cities, in the beach towns, from the most inexpensive street vendors to the middle class chain/franchise restaurants. As my Mexicana amiga so eloquently puts it, “everybody eats this shit!” In truth, it was a tough choice to include this baked version of the recipe because it’s more common in Mexico to make enchiladas by frying the tortillas–you don’t actually see the oven used a whole lot in authentic Mexican cuisine. Typically, it’s the gringos who like to bake their enchiladas, and this is probably why baking them has become the popular way of cooking them in Mexican restaurants you find abroad: it’s usually gringos who are opening the “Mexican” restaurants outside of their native country.

So this time, I want to share this version of the chicken enchilada recipe using a slightly less authentic but arguably more popular and seriously delicious method of preparation, with you, here, today, right now 😉 Here we go:

Ingredients (serves 5):

3 dried chiles guajillos
1 chile verde (serrano or jalapeño or whatever you like)
500g of tomato puree
1 small chicken breast
10 corn tortillas
1/4 white onion (a big one)
1/4 red onion (big one)
2 garlic cloves
5 branches of cilantro
200g manchego cheese
100g sour cream
olive oil (1 table spoon)
1 chicken stock cube

+ Mexican rice and Mexican beans for side dishes

+ shredded lettuce (optional, but great on a hot summer day)

Directions for making these authentic chicken enchiladas:

1. Start by preparing your Mexican beans and rice, since they take the longest to cook.

2. In a pot, cover your chicken breast with water.

Add one garlic clove, 1 tea spoon of salt, and a tiny piece of onion (almost none, but a little piece).

Bring to boil.

3. Once cooked, drain the chicken and shred it.

4. Devein, de-seed, and boil in water the chiles guallios. Once they’re boiling, drain them and put them in a blender. Add the tomato puree to blender and the white onion, plus your green chile, and blend thoroughly.

5. Make your enchilada sauce:

In a sauce pan, add 1 table spoon of olive oil and pour the blended mixture into it. Season it with the chicken stalk cube.

Bring this to a boil. While you’re waiting for this to happen, proceed:

6. Shred the lettuce (if using it) and thinly cut your red onion into rings.

7. Warm up your tortillas in a pan (or a comal, if you have one) to the point where they’re warm and flexible–not crispy. Do this one at a time, and then fill them with your chicken one a time and roll up and place in a glass oven tray one at a time.

Once you’ve done this will all of them, pour your sauce on top, covering them all.

Grate manchego cheese over top all of this, evenly, so a relatively equal amount of cheese is covering each enchilada.

Heat oven to 375F (180c). Once it’s there, bake your enchiladas for about 10 minutes–or until the cheese has completely melted.

8. Remove from oven and serve hot on a plate. Top each with sour cream, onion rings, lettuce, and serve sides of rice and Mexican beans.

Provecho! As you can see, Mexican chicken recipes like this take a bit of time to cook, but as you’ll find out if you don’t already know, they are so worth the work! I hope you enjoy this authentic chicken enchilada recipe and I’ll be back here again soon with a few more great authentic Mexican recipes! Speak soon -Carlos Lima

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  1. Claudia
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Carlos, thank you so much for this wonderful comfort food recipe. I also like reading your comments as they are very interesting. Wow, there is nothing like Mexican food , to me – it’s one of my all time very favorite cuisines. Even on a cold, dark, dreary day a Mexican dish can add some sunshine to our lives. Muchas gracias!

  2. Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    indeed it can!

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