Darlene’s Chicken Enchilada Recipe didn’t come easy. Darlene has been making “from scratch” Enchiladas for as long as I can remember. She doesn’t measure, just uses experience and good judgement. They are alway delicious.
Finally I stood beside her taking pictures and writing down numbers and ingredients until I am sure I have her recipe down cold. Now you do to. Oh, make the red sauce from dry chiles, it makes all the difference. – jughandle
Red Sauce Recipe
Darlene's Red Enchilada Sauce
- 3 cups water for reconstituting the dried chiles
- 2 ounces dried guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
- 1 ounce dried New Mexico chiles stemmed and seeded
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil divided in half
- 1/4 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 medium size Roma tomato seeded and chopped
- 1 Clove Garlic pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
After Cooking To Adjust Flavors:
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to take any bitter edge off. Optional
- .5 tsp Kosher salt if needed
- Stem and seed your dried chilies by cutting off the stem, rolling the pod between your hands, then pouring out the seeds.
- In a heavy saucepan, add 3 c of cold water the prepped dried chiles and bring to a boil.
- When you achieve a rolling boil reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Or longer to make the chilies tender.
- Drain the cooked chiles and reserve the cooking liquid in a measuring cup to use later.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Saute the onion until softened stirring occasionally which should take about 5 minutes.
- Introduce the tomato, garlic, salt, oregano, smoked paprika, and cumin to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes more.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender adding the chiles plus all of the reserved cooking liquid. Puree until smooth.
- Strain the sauce and discard the pulp.
- After straining you should have 2 cups of sauce.
- Use water to thin the sauce to 3 cups.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan over high heat.
- Slowly add the sauce being careful to avoid splattering yourself and the kitchen. If your pan is not large enough to hold the whole thing, do it in batches
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, don't answer the phone or drink a beer.
- Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Taste and adjust flavor with the additional salt and vinegar if needed
- Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use or freeze flat in gallon freezer bags for up to 3 months.
Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Darlene's Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
- 2 lbs Chicken Breast 3 large breasts grilled then deboned and shredded.
- 1 lb Pepper Jack Cheese grated coarsely
- 3 cups Darlene's Red Enchilada Sauce see recipe for sauce
- 8 Flour Tortillas 8 inch fits the pan
- 1 Tbsp lime juice to squeeze over shredded chicken
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F
- Shred your grilled chicken and squeeze the juice of one lime over it and mix
- grate the cheese
- Put the chicken and cheese in individual bowls and move to assembly area
- Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Cover the bottom with a ladle of sauce
- You will need two pie pan to sauce and assemble the enchiladas.
- Put a ladle of sauce in the bottom of one of the pie pans.
Method of Assembly:
- Dip one of the tortillas in the sauce, flip and dip to cover the other side
- Transfer to the clean pie pan for further assembly
- Place a 1/2 cup of shredded chicken and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (about a small handful) in the center of the sauced tortilla and roll tightly.
- Lay the rolled enchilada in the 9x13 inch pan
- Repeat until all 8 enchiladas are in the pan. The will be tight, squeeze them in
- Cover the top of the panned enchiladas with at least a ladle of sauce
- Use the remaining cheese to sprinkle on top of the whole thing
- Bake at 350 deg F for 45 minutes
- Either serve them or cover with foil, cool and freeze them for later.