Chicken Enchiladas

Growing up in Southern California, we were no strangers to the enchilada.  I’ve been eating them since I was a wee lass and making them for over 40 years.  The holidays always include at least one enchilada dinner, and perhaps our favorite is the seafood enchilada.   But next to that, these chicken enchiladas are quite dear to our hearts.

In my humble opinion, one of the things that separates a good enchilada from a great enchilada is the sauce.  No doubt, there are some really good canned/jarred enchilada sauces out there, but I’m of the opinion that a homemade sauce trumps a canned sauce any day.  Here's my recipe for homemade enchilada sauce.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know how much I love homemade corn tortillas.  And boy howdy, does a homemade tortilla ever make an amazing difference in the flavor and texture of an enchilada. 

This is one place where I really want to encourage you to make your own.  If not, just find the best and freshest corn tortillas, and after that, it’s just a matter of assembling…

Fill your tortilla with some of the chicken and cheese, roll it up and place in a baking pan that’s been drizzled with a little of the enchilada sauce.

When your pan is full, pour some enchilada sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese and sliced olives and bake until bubbly.

Your finished enchiladas can be topped with sour cream, a sprinkling of green onions or chives and perhaps a slice of avocado.

There really are few things in life as wondrous as a good enchilada…Ok, maybe sinking into a deep sleep on a fluffy feather mattress after an exhausting day and the kids are spending the night at the Grandparents' and you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.  That might be more wondrous, but a good enchilada is right up there.  Here's the recipe...

Chicken Enchiladas

Click here for a printable recipe

Makes 12
1 lb cooked, shredded chicken thighs
3 cups of enchilada sauce (store-bought or homemade)
6 cups of grated jack and cheddar cheese (3 cups each)
1 cup sliced black olives
12 corn tortillas (my recipe for homemade)
sour cream for serving
2 avocados, sliced, for serving
chopped fresh chives or green onions (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray, then place the tortillas on the sheet pan.  Spray with more of the cooking spray and place the sheet pan in the oven for about 3-4 minutes.  The tortillas should be soft and warm.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Mix your shredded chicken with about 1/3 of a cup of the enchilada sauce.

Pour just enough enchilada sauce in your baking dish to barely cover the bottom.

Place a tablespoon or two of chicken in a tortilla, top with a small handful of grated cheese and roll up to enclose.  Place this in your baking dish and continue with the rest of your tortillas until they are all filled.

Drizzle your enchiladas with some of the enchilada sauce and top with the remaining grated cheese and the sliced olives.

Bake your enchiladas for 20 to 30 minutes or until they warm through and bubbly.  Let sit a few minutes before serving.

To serve, top each enchilada with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of avocado.  Sprinkle with the chives or green onion, if using.