Red Chicken Enchiladas

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6


Recipe By Cook's Illustrated

  • 1 onion medium, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tomato seeded and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded sharp white, divided
  • 1 cup cheese shredded monterey jack, divided
  • ½ cup cilantro minced fresh
  • 12 tortillas 6-inch soft corn
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tomatoes ripe, about 12 ounces, cored and quartered
  • 1 onion medium, preferably white, peeled, trimmed of root end, and quartered
  • 3 jalapeno chiles medium
  • 2 cups rice long grain white
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups chicken broth low-sodium or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves minced fresh-I omitted this
  • 1 lime cut into wedges for serving


Chicken Enchiladas

  • Combine the onion, jalapeno and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds.
  • Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through (160? F on an instant-read thermometer), about 12-20 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.
  • Strain the sauce through a large mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing down on the onions and tomatoes to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Transfer the reserved solids to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the bowl with the onion mixture.
  • Add in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses, and the cilantro.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  • Oil a 9 x 13  baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable.
  • Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down.
  • Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.
  • Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 400  F.  Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Spanish Rice

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Process tomatoes and onion in food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl if necessary.
  • Transfer mixture to liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off excess so that volume equals 2 cups).
  • Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapeños and discard; mince flesh and set aside.
  • Mince remaining jalapeño, including ribs and seeds; set aside.
  • Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Shake rice vigorously in strainer to remove all excess water.
  • Heat oil in heavy-bottomed ovensafe 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Drop 3 or 4 grains rice in oil; if grains sizzle, oil is ready. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and seeded minced jalapeños; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil.
  • Cover pan and transfer to oven; bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.
  • Stir in cilantro and reserved minced jalapeño with seeds to taste.
  • Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.
Nutrition Facts
Red Chicken Enchiladas
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 834 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 88mg29%
Sodium 2023mg88%
Potassium 1103mg32%
Carbohydrates 97g32%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 38g76%
Vitamin A 1871IU37%
Vitamin C 42mg51%
Calcium 404mg40%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.