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Chicken + Pepper Enchiladas Rojas

Chicken Enchiladas Rojas

I can't say that enchiladas are ever something I ordered at Mexican restaurants. I guess I didn't know what I was missing out on. When my son was born, a whole pan of these was delivered by a very dear friend and we were hooked. Full of veggies, beans, chicken and cheese and smothered in a flavourful tomato sauce. This meal will easily become a staple in your house too.

Now, when a friend is out of surgery and another has just had her second beautiful daughter, I decided to double the batch and do some deliveries of my own. And there was still plenty to enjoy dinner that night and freeze a pan for ourselves for down the road. These freeze beautifully, just be sure to thaw fully and follow the baking instructions when you're ready to eat!

The cinnamon is inspired by fajitas I had in the Valle de Anton on a trip to Panama. It was the most incredibly flavourful chicken, wrapped in fresh tortillas. Simple, but amazing. I almost couldn't put my finger on what it was that was setting this chicken apart. Cinnamon might seem like it's out of place here but trust me, it brings another layer of flavour that would be missing otherwise. I use it in my taco/fajita seasoning now too.

Serve these up with sour cream and Avocado Salad for some freshness. Pair with a slightly off-dry rosé to balance the heat and stand up to the acidity.






Red Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, minced (or more if you want it spicy)

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (perfect use for the cilantro stalks)

  • 1 can (680g) tomato sauce, plain

  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 12-15 white or whole wheat 10 inch tortillas

  • 4 cups shredded cheese (Tex Mex or mix shredded cheddar and Monterrey Jack), divided

  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced

  • 2 small bell peppers, sliced

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • Big handful roughly chopped cilantro leaves


Red Sauce

  1. Heat olive oil in medium sized pot on medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until soft. Add minced jalapeño and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder and cinnamon.

  2. Add tomato sauce and chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 5-8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.

  3. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

Enchilada Filling

  1. Set broiler to high and move rack to top of oven. Toss red onion and peppers in olive oil on a large baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Broil on high for 5-7 minutes, being careful not to let it burn but let vegetables take on colour. Toss halfway through cooking. Set aside to cool.

  2. Shred rotisserie chicken and add to large bowl. Add 3 cups of shredded cheese, black beans, corn, roasted peppers and onions and chili powder. Toss to combine.

Assemble Enchiladas

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit and set rack to middle of oven.

  2. In large baking dish, or multiple small ones, ladle one scoop of red sauce into bottom of the pan, just to cover.

  3. Fill each tortilla with chicken and cheese mixture, roll and lay folded side down in baking dish. Cover with remaining red sauce and top with remaining shredded cheese.

  4. Lightly spray tin foil with cooking spray (to keep the cheese from sticking) and cover baking dish. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove foil and return pan to oven. Bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered until cheese in bubbly and just starting to brown.

  5. Remove from oven and allow enchiladas to sit for 5 minutes before dishing out. Top with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream!

Be sure to tag @crushfoodandwine if you try this recipe!


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