Classic Chicken Enchiladas
Our version of this Mexican-style classic features an easy, yet richly-flavored homemade enchilada sauce, melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken, mild, creamy cheese and a pop of fresh flavor from chopped cilantro.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper sauce (optional)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups finely shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or a Mexican blend)
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F and coat an oblong baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and jalapeño. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute.
- Add the chili powder, cumin and coriander, combine well and sauté for an additional minute until the spices release their fragrance. Add the chipotle pepper and tomato sauces and cook for 2 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and, if desired, adjust the heat by adding extra chili powder or chipotle sauce.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is fork-tender.
- Allowing the majority of sauce that adheres to the chicken drip back into the pan, transfer the thighs to a cutting board and cut/shred them into small pieces.
- Spread a thin layer of the remaining sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Lay a tortilla on a flat surface and add a portion of chicken in a line down the center. Top with about 2 tablespoons of cheese and a sprinkling of cilantro. Roll and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.
- Cover the tortillas evenly with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top is lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.