Due to popular demand, enchiladas are on our lunch at least once every 4 or 5 months. Usually, we make it with pork butt, but since there was chicken left, we are using what we have (no waste!). I’ve tried enchiladas with different salsas, but I prefer red so today it’s…Chicken enchiladas with salsa roja!
Chicken enchiladas with salsa roja
1 hrTotal Time
6 red bell peppers
1 large ripe tomato
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 chicken breasts
3 cups water
1/4 cup sake
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 dried chili de arbol
3 whole garlic
1/4 red onion, sliced
8 6 inch corn tortillas
2-3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the salsa, lay the red bell peppers and jalapenos on a sheet tray. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until they start to darken. Remove and put in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave aside for 10 minutes. Unwrap the bowl and carefully peel the outer skin membrane from the bell peppers and jalapeno. Discard the seeds and stem from the bell pepper, but reserve the seeds from the jalapeno. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the tomato and onion into large chunks. Combine with the roasted bell peppers and jalapeno with the cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.
To prepare the chicken, combine the water - red onion in a medium pot. When the liquid begins to barely simmer, add the chicken and poach until cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Do not let the water come to a boil. Maintain the temperature at 160-175 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the pot and discard the liquid. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred by hand.
Shingle the tortillas and lay in a zip lock bag. Close the bag, releasing as much air as you can. Heat up in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until soft.
To assemble the enchiladas, ladle a cup of salsa onto a tray. Coat each side of the tortilla with the salsa. Fill the center with 1/4 cup of the shredded chicken and 2 tbsp of the cheese. Spoon 2 tbsp of the salsa inside. Roll the tortilla into a wrap and place into a baking dish seam side down. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and line the enchiladas side by side in the baking dish.
Spoon 1/2 cup of salsa across the enchiladas and top with more cheese. Bake in the oven until thoroughly heated and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with more salsa on the side.
If you’re short on time, you can purchase already made salsa for this recipe instead of making it at home, but we all know that homemade is fresher. Make sure to choose ripe tomatoes for a more flavorful sauce. You can also adjust the spiciness of the salsa by adding more or fewer jalapenos. Remember to keep the seeds!
The reason why you want to heat up the tortillas is to make them soft. If you skip this step, the tortillas will break when you try to roll them. Be careful when handling them out of the microwave, they will be very hot. If the tortillas were previously frozen, thaw them out completely or they will stick to one another when heated (also another reason to shingle them, to prevent the tortillas from sticking to one another). When assembling the enchiladas, I use the baking tray to coat the tortillas in sauce. I ladle the sauce right into the tray, coat each side of the tortilla and continue making them there. These enchiladas are quite simple to make and despite the cheese, tastes somewhat healthy, especially because of the way the chicken is prepared. You can make these ahead and freeze them until you are ready to bake. Great for gatherings, parties, or just a regular weekday dinner.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.