Chicken Enchiladas

This is another one of those recipes that I have adapted from family recipe to a slightly healthier version.  It is still packed full of spicy flavor, and by using corn tortillas and reduced fat cheese, it becomes a healthier version of the original.  I made it for my now mother-in-law years ago and not used to spicy foods still said these were the best she had ever had.

This isn’t really time-consuming recipe, but still takes some time to cook, due to boililing the chicken.   Once finished however you do always have the option of freezing which this does make enough for 4-6 people.  So, if you are making it for a couple, freezing half for another night is an ideal way for a make ahead meal.   You will just want to freeze the sauce separately.

Chicken Enchiladas

  • 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Ancho Chili’s, dried
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 of a Lime
  • 1/2  Red Onion, cut in large chunks
  • Water
  • 1 can (7 oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 16-20 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 1/2  c White Onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 c Reduced Fat, Mexican Cheese Blend

Place the chicken, ancho’s, garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper, onion and lime in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down to simmer and cover the pot with a lid.  About 30 min to an hour later the chicken should be falling into threads.

Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and drain let the chicken cool in the strainer.

Place the liquid back into the pot and turn on medium, bring to a boil.  Add the tomato sauce, cumin and corn starch to the liquid in the pot.  Stir vigorously until well combined, and all of the starch is worked into the liquid completely.  Taste, salt and pepper to taste.  When combined reduce heat to simmer and let it reduce by half.

While the sauce is reducing remove the lime, garlic, and onion pieces from the drained chicken.  In a plate shred the chicken with fingers, if it is still too hot to handle then use forks.  Taste and salt as needed.

Using a clean dish cloth, dampen with water and wrap the tortillas in it.  Microwave for 2 min to soften.  This makes them easy to roll without cracking as you place in the baking dish.

While the tortillas are in the microwave, dice up a small white onion should come to just under 1 1/2 cups.  Place the onion in a bowl.  Add the cheese to a bowl.  Place the bowls of chicken, onion, and cheese on a work surface.  Place the baking dish next to your work area, a 9×13 baking dish works perfectly.  Remove the tortillas and place in the center of your work area.  They will be hot, so be careful.

Starting in the edge of your baking dish place one tortilla and fill with the chicken, onion and cheese (if you need measurements; about 1/4 cup chicken, 1 tbsp onion, and 1 tbsp cheese). Roll placing seam side down.  Repeat until all the chicken is used.  You may or may not end up using all of the tortillas.  You should have left over onion and cheese.

The sauce should be reduced by half at this point.  If needed (looks lumpy from the corn starch) strain into a bowl.  If you let the sauce reduce by half you should have around 1 1/2 – 2 cups of sauce.  Ladle the sauce over the filled tortillas in the baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining onion and cheese.  Bake uncovered in oven for 20 min at 400°F.   Serve with your favorite sides, and garnish.  I like to use cabbage and lime wedges with a little bit of fat free sour cream.

If freezing: After you fill the tortillas in the baking dish, cover tightly with foil or lid, and freeze.  The sauce should be cooled slightly before being frozen in a separate container.  To bake frozen remove the sauce from the freezer.  Place in microwave on defrost setting for five minutes.  Once defrosted, pour over the prepared enchiladas and bake uncovered in oven for 30-40 min at 400°F

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One thought on “Chicken Enchiladas

  1. I always wondered if someone can come up with a healthier version of chicken enchiladas because I miss eating the dish. I’m very happy I found your recipe. I can’t wait to make this.

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