Jen’s Chicken Enchiladas

by Kimberly Hickok

Finally. I know I promised to post this a while back and I’ve been teasing you with other recipes from ‘The Day of Awesome Mexican Cooking with my friend Jen’ like this awesome and easy Cilantro Rice. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for her awesome chicken enchiladas.

Me and Jen. At the bottom of the pic is my dog Izzy trying to get in on the action.

There are a few things I should tell you first. The secret is in the sauce. It really is. If you’re going to go through the effort of making these enchiladas, I strongly encourage you to make the sauce from scratch. The recipe for the Roasted Tomatillo Sauce is here.

An enchilada is a corn tortilla, filled with whatever you like – in this case chicken, rolled and baked in a red or green sauce. Knowing the steps in advance helped me organize what I needed to do so I could roll the enchiladas, assembly-line style.

Chicken Enchiladas - Poaching Chicken

Poach chicken for 30-40 minutes with an onion, a bay leaf, some oregano, a handful of cilantro and salt.

The first thing you need to do is poach the chicken. This will take 30-4o minutes. If you decide to make your own Enchilada Sauce, which I highly recommend you do, roast the vegetables for the sauce while the chicken is poaching. You can also use this time to shred your cheese, lightly fry the corn tortillas – about 10 seconds per side, and cook up the onion/cumin mixture.

I know it sounds like I’m getting ahead of myself but you’ll see what I mean . . .

After the chicken is cooked, let it cool slightly then shred it. While you’re shredding the chicken, in a large skillet with a little olive oil, add a thinly sliced onion. Cook until almost caramelized then add a teaspoon of cumin. Add salt to taste. Toss in the shredded chicken. Set aside.

Enchiladas - Chicken and Cheese

Chicken and onion mixture. Shredded cheese – a combination of Pepper Jack and Cheddar. Some cheese will go in the enchilada. The rest will go on top.

Next, fry up the corn tortillas in a little canola oil (if you haven’t already). You want them to be pliable so maybe 10-15 seconds per side. Place on a plate with some paper towels to absorb any additional oil.

Corn Tortilla

Now comes the fun part. In a 9×13 casserole dish or lasagna pan, add a little bit of the roasted tomatillo sauce. Set aside. Dip each tortilla in the sauce. Place some of the chicken mixture in the center, top with a little cheese, roll and place in the casserole.

Chicken Enchilada - Making

This part can get a little messy but it’s totally worth it.

Oh! Don’t forget to preheat the oven to 350F. Just keep filling and rolling until the chicken is gone. You should have enough chicken to make 18 enchiladas. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. I use a combination of Pepper Jack and Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese (Cabot of course!).

Enchiladas - ready to bake

The first time I made these, I needed two pans because I didn’t roll them tight enough. The above photo is the second pan I used. We ended up with 18. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve with cilantro rice and beans.

Enchiladas - on a plate

Using fresh ingredients for the sauce makes all the difference.

These are a real crowd-pleaser. You can make them in advance and bake when you need them. They also freeze well. You can even make the sauce ahead of time and have the chicken filling all prepped and ready to fill when you’re ready.

Jen's Chicken Enchiladas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A step by step recipe for making chicken enchiladas. Includes a link for the roasted tomatillo enchilada sauce.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 lbs chicken breast, boneless & skinless
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 6 ounces Pepper Jack, shredded
  • 6 ounces Cheddar, shredded
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Roasted Tomatillo Sauce or Green Enchilada Sauce
  1. Place the chicken, one onion, bay leaf, oregano, cilantro and some salt in a sauce pan. Gently simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is fork tender.
  2. Cool chicken and shred.
  3. In a large skillet add some oil and the other onion, thinly sliced, with the cumin. Cook until the onion is almost caramelized. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet add about ¼" canola oil, Fry the corn tortillas about 10-15 seconds per side. The tortillas should still be pliable. Place on paper towels. Set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Spread a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish or lasagna pan.
  7. Dip each tortilla in the sauce, add some of the chicken, top with some cheese. Roll then place in the casserole dish.
  8. Repeat until the chicken is gone. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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1 comment

Kimversations Curried Chicken & Kimchi Fried Rice - #MealDealChallenge - Kimversations May 19, 2016 - 7:20 pm

[…] of my favorite people, and kitchen buddy, Jen. If you follow Kimversations, you know that we have a blast in the kitchen and that I love her […]


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