THE BEST RED SAUCE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

PREP TIME: 30 MINS | COOK TIME: 55 MINS | TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 25 MINS | YIELD: 12 ENCHILADAS

These enchiladas quickly became our main favourite rotation. When I first laid eyes on these Red Sauce Chicken Enchiladas, I know that my search is over. I already found the best enchiladas that will sweep off anyone’s feet!

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion, small diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 tsp oil

3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp granulated or brown sugar

2 tsp ground cumin

2 cans (8-oz. each) tomato sauce

1 c. water

1 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)

1 c. (4 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 c. (4 oz.) shredded Monterey jack cheese

1/2 c. minced fresh cilantro

12 (6”) soft corn or flour tortillas (fajita-size if using flour tortillas)

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST RED SAUCE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

Step 1: Combine the onion, jalapeno, half tsp salt, and oil in a large saucepan. Cook while stirring often over medium-low heat, covered, until the onions and peppers have softened. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic, chilli powder, cumin, and sugar, and continue to cook for another 30 seconds or so until aromatic. Add in the tomato sauce, stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Step 2: Into the sauce, place the chicken. Adjust the heat to low, cover with the lid, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more until the chicken is completely cooked. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the chicken and the thickness of the chicken breast. When done, transfer the chicken to a plate and keep it aside to let it cool a little. In the meantime, continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes until slightly thickened.

Step 3: Through a fine mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a medium bowl, using a spatula or spoon to press the onion mixture to extract as much liquid. If needed, season the sauce with more salt and pepper.

Step 4: To a large bowl, place the leftover onion mixture from the strainer and set it aside. Into bite-sized pieces, shred the chicken, then add it to the onion mixture. To the large bowl with the onion mixture and shredded chicken, add 1/4 of the reserved enchilada sauce, half cup cheddar cheese, half cup Monterey Jack cheese, and the cilantro, and toss to combine.

Step 5: On a plate, stack the tortillas and tent with plastic wrap or damp paper towels. Heat in the microwave for about 40 to 60 seconds on high until warm and pliable. Then, on a clean work surface, spread the tortillas. On the centre of each tortilla, spoon about 1/3 cup for the chicken mixture. Now, tightly roll each tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish seam-side-down.

Step 6: In the meantime, ready the oven. Preheat it to 400 degrees F.

Step 7: Over the enchiladas, evenly pour the enchilada sauce, and top with the rest of the cheese. Using foil, tent the dish. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until heated through.

Step 8: Uncover and resume baking for 5 minutes more until the cheese browns. When done, remove from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro. Enjoy!

NOTES:

For a very mild kick, use 2tbsp of chilli powder plus jalapeno. feel free to leave the seeds or membranes of the jalapeno on or remove them. Feel free to adjust the spice based on your preference.

To make this ahead, follow the recipe but allow the sauce, onions, and chicken to come to room temperature before assembling the enchiladas. Once the enchiladas are assembled, tent the pan with a layer of tin foil, and place the dish in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Pop in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, covered. Remove the cover, then bake for 5 to 10 minutes more. Cover the assembled enchilada with double layers of tin foil, place in a jumbo-sized Ziploc bag, and freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. Or if the jumbo-sized bag is not available, just make sure to tightly seal the edges of the pan with tin foil. When ready to serve, bake at 350 degrees F oven for about 1 1/2 hours (no need to thaw the enchiladas). Then, remove the cover and bake for another hour until hot and bubbly.