Thursday, December 6, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas with Fire-Roasted Chile Sauce and Perfect Guacamole

I have probably tested 12 enchilada and sauce recipes over the past year. Some were wonderful but entirely too much work, others were simple and lacking. Fortunately, my friend Jackie sent along her favorite enchilada recipe and my problems were solved! This is easy to make and so good you will want to arm yourself with two forks. And as always, please wear gloves when handling hot peppers. Nothing is quite as alarming as accidentally rubbing your eyes or other sensitive areas after chopping up a few chiles!

My husband requests these about once a week. Fortunately, the recipe makes enough for 5-6 starving people so I always have plenty of leftovers to throw at him. They are not as wonderful zapped in the microwave – I’d recommend putting the enchiladas in a hot oven until warmed through to maintain their crispness. The sauce reheats just fine in the microwave or saucepan.

Why is she putting the final picture first, you ask? Well, when I share to the blog’s Facebook page it will only post the first picture so I would rather have this one than some raw flour tortillas. I promise to eventually figure out how to use a computer.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
Courtesy of Whit’s Chicken Enchiladas –
Serves 8 (I make about 12 big ones that fit in a 9x13 inch pan and serve 6.)

4 bone-in chicken breast halves*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 (4-oz) can diced green chile peppers, drained
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese**
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
½ cup water
8 (10-inch) flour tortillas***
1 cup heavy cream

Place the chicken breast halves into a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the water, and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Remove the chicken meat from the breasts, and discard the skin and bones. Chop the meat and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green chilies, jalapeno and garlic. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until fragrant, then stir in the cream cheese and half of the Monterey Jack. As the cheese begins to melt, gradually stir in the water. Add the chopped chicken, stir to combine and remove from the heat.

Spoon the chicken mixture into tortillas, and roll up. Place the rolls seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Sprinkle the remaining Monterey Jack cheese over the top, then pour cream over all.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the enchiladas are golden brown on the top.

 Serve with Fire-Roasted Chile Sauce and Perfect Guacamole. We also make rice with a packet of Sazon seasoning as an accompaniment.

* I often roast a chicken, pull the meat off for this recipe and use the carcass to make brown chicken stock. And if you’re feeling incredibly naughty, save the skin for Crispy Chicken Skin Tacos with Habanero Salsa (recipe currently available at They are to die for!

** Jackie suggests using 4 oz of cream cheese and 4 oz of cottage cheese for a healthier version. With no taste difference, what’s to lose – besides inches!

*** Extra-large tortillas work fine, but if you want to fit the enchiladas in the pan crosswise and not lengthwise, buy the large tortillas instead.

Fire-Roasted Chile Sauce
Adapted from Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas –
(I usually double this recipe.)

1 small onion, chopped
Grapeseed or olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes*
2 tbsp red chili powder
1 tsp sugar

Coat a large skillet with oil and sauté the onions on medium heat until translucent, a few minutes. Add the garlic for a minute more.

While the onions are cooking, purée the canned tomatoes in a blender. Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic. Bring to a low simmer. Start adding the chili powder, one teaspoon at a time, tasting after each addition, until you get to the desired level of heat and chili flavor. (For us that is around 1½ tablespoons.) You want more of the taste of the chili and less of the tomatoes for this sauce. As the sauce simmers, dilute it with water to keep it from getting too thick. Remove from heat.

* If you like spicy, try fire-roasted tomatoes with chipotle peppers. We love Muir Glen. This is guaranteed to put hair on your chest.

Perfect Guacamole
Adapted from
Serves 2-4

2 ripe avocados
½ red onion, minced
1-2 Serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
2 tbsp cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
½ tsp coarse salt
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
½ ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.

Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don't overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.) Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness.

Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so don't chop the tomatoes or add to the guacamole until ready to serve.

Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.

Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.

Just before serving, chop the tomato, add to the guacamole and mix.


Substitute the cilantro and Serrano chiles with a bit of Fresco sauce. We can’t get enough of these Artisan sauces from Guapo. Plus they are vegan and gluten-free!!!

For a very quick guacamole just take a ¼ cup of salsa and mix it in with your mashed avocados.

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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