In this recipe, adapted for home cooks, calls for layering corn tortillas, lasagne-style, with a chili-tomato sauce, shredded chicken and cheddar. Bake until the cheesy topping bubbles and browns in spots, and garnish with cilantro and scallions.
Visit a Mexican market to get the best, freshest tortillas. In a recipe this simple, every ingredient counts.
Smoky Chicken Enchiladas
Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4
2 dried ancho chilies, stems removed
½ cups warm water
1 yellow onion, cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 pinch of spicy paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
14 corn tortillas
1½ pounds shredded rotisserie, poached or roast chicken
9 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
1 generous handful cilantro leaves
3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Place dried chilies in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Cover bowl with a plate and let chilies rehydrate until they become pliable, about 5 minutes.
- Set broiler to high. Season onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Spread vegetables across a baking sheet. Broil until well charred in spots, 2-3 minutes. Remove from broiler and set aside. Set oven temperature to 425 degrees.
- Place tomatoes, paprika, oregano, charred onions and garlic, and rehydrated chilies along with their soaking liquid in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring liquid to a simmer and cook until onions and chilies soften, about 7 minutes. Off heat, use a handheld blender or food processor to purée to a thick, smooth, uniform sauce, taking care with hot liquid. Set sauce back over low heat and gently simmer to keep warm.
- Coat bottom of a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Arrange a single layer of tortillas over sauce, trimming edges to fit. Scatter a loose layer of chicken over tortillas and top with a loose layer of grated cheese. Continue layering sauce, tortillas, chicken and cheese until dish is nearly full. End with a layer of tortillas, a layer of sauce and a final layer of cheese.
- Bake enchiladas on top rack of oven until cheese topping bubbles and browns in spots, 15-20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and scallions and serve immediately.