Nicole of always surprises me with her Desperation Dinners. She has a way of taking something like this, enchiladas with a homemade sauce, and making it entirely accessible. I'm personally a proponent of making your own sauce, for all the reasons Nicole mentions. I also find canned enchilada sauce contains a lot of ingredients that I try to avoid. Give this a whirl! You'll be surprised at how quickly it comes together. — Kim Walker
Enchiladas are one of those dishes that you might not think about making at home, but it is also one that you should put on the to-try list. They're a Mexican restaurant favorite, featuring a filling of meat, veggies and/or cheeses wrapped in a tortilla, then baked until tender and slathered with delicious sauce before serving. They're much easier to make than you might think – even if you start with sauce from scratch!
The advantage of making homemade sauce is that you can really customize the flavors, increasing or decreasing the amount of spice in the sauce until you hit a heat level that you're comfortable with. The sauce for these enchiladas is tomato-based and just needs to cook for a few minutes to thicken up before you can use it to make the rest of your dish. I filled these with shredded chicken – use leftovers fro last night's dinner or buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store – and wrapped them in corn tortillas. You can use flour tortillas, but the corn become much more tender during baking and add a great corn flavor to the finished dish.
It's actually fun to wrap up the enchiladas, and none of the prep work takes too long. Once you're prepared everything, this becomes a hands-off dish that you simply need to pop in the oven for about 30 minutes before dinner.
Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
12-oz tomato paste
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
12 medium-sized corn tortillas
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine oil and flour (add flour when oil is hot) and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth. Cool for 1 minute. Add dry spices and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds. Add in chipotle peppers, tomato paste, chicken stock and salt. Use half as much chipotle if you prefer your enchiladas mild. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Place chicken in a medium bowl and top with about 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese and stir well.
Spread about 3/4 cup sauce over the bottom of the pan. Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture (or a little less) in each tortilla and roll it up like a taquito. Place in the baking dish. Repeat with all remaining chicken and tortillas, creating an even layer of rolled tortillas over the bottom of the pan. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle cheese over the top.
Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving with guacamole and sour cream.