Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekly Recipe: Baked Chicken Cheese Enchiladas with Easy Enchilada Sauce

For years I have struggled to find an enchilada sauce that tasted authentic.  Most of them tasted good enough but it just wasn't that same restaurant taste I was used to.  When I came across this recipe several years ago on a friend's blog, I bookmarked it to try.  I finally got around to it and I'm only sorry it took me this long.  It actually comes together quickly and the end result is definitely worth the fuss.  The enchilada sauce was the closest to authentic I've ever had in my kitchen.  Plus, I had enough left over to make another Mexican dish a couple of weeks later.  The only modification I made was to cut the amount of salsa in half.  I thought we had more than we did so I had to compromise.

Baked Chicken Cheese Enchiladas with Easy Enchilada Sauce
Modified from recipes by Sara Moulton and Emeril (Food Network

2+ tablespoons olive oil (do not use extra virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2+ cups chicken stock
10 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup prepared salsa
2 cups grated Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper
4 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced
12 to 14 soft round 6 to 8-inch flour or corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium saucepan or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil and then add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add 2 cups stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, place a little olive oil in a skillet and cook the tortillas on both sides to soften them a little before before rolling the enchiladas, so they do not break up later. As the sauce cooks, it will thicken and smooth out. Add salt, adjust the seasonings and add more chicken stock to thin out the sauce as needed.

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and the sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup of the salsa. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese. In a second bowl toss together the chicken, the corn, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the scallions/green onions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

In a baking dish spread half of the enchilada sauce or enough to cover. Place about a 1/3 cup of the filling on a corn tortilla, roll up and transfer to the baking dish with the seam side down. Repeat process for remaining tortillas. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas, spreading to coat all of them. Sprinkle remaining grated cheese over the top. Enchiladas may be prepared up to this point 12 hours in advance. Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Enchiladas may be reheated in the oven, covered with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve warm.
Yield: 6 to 7 servings.


  1. If these taste half as good as they look, I'm sold! Totally bookmarking this recipe...

  2. Yummy!! That looks delicious! I just made some low fat chicken enchiladas the other day!! I have never thought to make my own enchilada sauce though! I'll have to try that!!

  3. Wow, that would be great to live in Charleston! My dad actually went to the Citadel there, and said the only thing that bothered him while there was the humidity in the summer. Still love it though!

    As for grandchildren, they have three, so far it's just me and my sister (the second oldest), she had the first boy, and named him after my dad. So sweet! All the sisters love big families, so I'm sure we'll all have big ones as well. :)

  4. This sounds so tasty and authentic! Now I'm craving Mexican!