Authentic Chicken Enchilada Recipe

This delicious and authentic chicken enchilada recipe is a staple in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Red enchiladas are filled with simple shredded chicken and topped with sautéed potatoes and carrots. Something you should really try if you want to know how a real and authentic enchilada taste!.

Authentic chicken enchilada recipe from Aguascalientes.

This chicken enchiladas style is very popular in the States of central Mexico and they can be find in many small restaurantes called cenadurías or small stands as part of the popular Mexican street food.

Enchiladas, as their name implies, use chiles as their main ingredient. There are many ways of making enchiladas in Mexico, the ones I am sharing with you today are prepared with the traditional recipe from Aguascalientes which happens to be very similar as enchiladas are prepared in other States in center Mexico, for example in Guanajuato where they’re called Enchiladas Mineras.

A plate with chicken enchiladas topped with sautéed potatoes and carrots, queso fresco, and cream.

The ingredients

  • Corn tortillas. The traditional chicken enchilada recipe from Aguascalientes is made with corn tortillas. You can use store-bought or make your own homemade tortillas.
  • Chicken meat. I like to use thighs and drums since those are more juicy and flavorful. But also chicken breast are fine. Cook your chicken with any fresh herbs or spices you prefer and even vegetables if you want to save the stock for later uses.
  • Mexican chiles. Guajillo and ancho are the first options for this type of enchilada recipe. You can use only one type if you prefer or you can replace ancho chiles with smoked paprika (1 or 2 tablespoons would be enough). In USA you can find other types of chiles that can easily replace guajillo, such as dry Anaheim peppers or California dried peppers.
  • Spices. Garlic, oregano, peppercorns, and a pinch of cumin. Don’t overwhelm the taste and aroma of your enchilada sauce by adding lots of a certain spice, remember that balance is the key.
  • Potatoes and carrots. They add the distinctive touch of the traditional chicken enchiladas from Aguascalientes. They are sautéed in a pan with a bit of the enchilada sauce, delicious!
  • Toppings. Onions, lettuce, queso fresco and crema. Sub queso fresco with cotija cheese or other fresh cheese you can find where you live, and Mexican crema with regular whole cream.
A close up on chicken enchiladas.

Chicken Enchilada Recipe (step by step)

Prepare the chicken filling

Place the chicken in a medium-size stock pot. Add garlic, onion, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and salt. Cover with plenty of water and cook until the chicken is very tender (about 1 hour). Strain the broth and set aside.

Cooked chicken in a stock pot.

Allow the chicken to cool down enough to handle it with your hands, then shred the meat and seat aside.

Prepare the enchilada sauce

Clean the chiles cutting them longwise and discarding seeds and the stem. Place them in a bowl and add hot water until covered. Allow to soak for 10 minutes or until chiles are very soft.

Soaking chiles on a bowl.

Place the chiles into a blender, add garlic, peppercorns, oregano, and a pinch of cumin. Pour in a cup of the chicken cooking water you reserved before and blend until you’ll end with a smooth sauce. Now, you can use it as it is or pass it through a strainer pressing with the back of a spoon.

Straining the enchilada sauce.

Make the veggies topping

Peel the potatoes and carrots, then cut them into small cubes. Boil the vegetables with salt until al dente and then drain them well.

Potatoes and carrots boiled.

In a sauté pan heat two tablespoons of oil and sauté the potatoes and carrots until fully cooked, add one tablespoon of the chili sauce, mix well and turn off the heat. Keep them in a warm place until need it.

Sauteed onions and carrots in a pan.

Make the chicken enchiladas

Heat a good glug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Soak one tortilla in the sauce making sure is well coated on both sides.

Soaking a tortilla in the enchilada sauce.

Now, fry the tortilla from both sides for a few seconds, pay attention to not fry long or they will become crispy. Also, be careful when placing the tortilla into the oil as the splatters could burn your hands (use gloves or just add it very careful).

Frying the tortilla coated in sauce.

Place the tortilla on a plate and add some shredded chicken in the middle.

Tortilla enchilada with chicken in the middle.

Now, fold the tortilla or roll it, whatever you prefer.

One enchilada folded and one rolled on a plate.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken and place 4 enchiladas on every plate or all of them in a serving plate.

Top enchiladas with sautéed potatoes and carrots, add diced onion, cheese, and drizzle with cream. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • If you can’t find Guajillo and/or Pasilla chiles, you can replace them with ¼ cup of paprika and 1 medium red bell pepper.
  • You can also make the sauce the day before or even 3 days prior to making this chicken enchilada recipe.
  • If you’d like a vegetarian version, which is also very popular in Aguascalientes, omit the chicken and fill your enchiladas with onions and fresh cheese.
  • You can also strain the sauce if you’d prefer it to be smoother.
  • Use your roasted chicken leftovers or even better: Thanksgiving turkey! to make those scrumptious enchiladas!

More Mexican Street Food

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed our chicken enchilada recipe, believe me, once you try this version, you won’t go back to others!

Chicken enchilada recipe.

Red Chicken Enchilada Recipe

These delicious chicken enchiladas are filled with simple shredded chicken and topped with potatoes, carrots, cheese and cream.
PREP 30 minutes
COOK 40 minutes
TOTAL 1 hour 10 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 ½ lb boneless chicken (tighs, drums or breast)
  • 1 garlic clove (skin on)
  • ½ small onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • oil for frying
  • salt

For the sauce

  • 2 pasilla chiles (see notes)
  • 4 guajillo chiles (see notes)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

For the toppings

  • 2 large potatoes (about 1 lb/450 gr)
  • 2 medium carrots (about ½ lb / 225 gr)
  • 1 cup Queso fresco (or any other fresh cheese you prefer)
  • ½ cup mexican sour cream (or any other cream you prefer)
  • 1 ½ cups iceberg lettuce (chopped)

Instructions

  • Cook chicken with water, garlic, onion, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and salt. Strain the broth and set aside.
  • Allow the chicken to cool down, then shred it and seat aside.

Make the enchilada sauce

  • Clean the chiles cutting them longwise and discarding seeds and the stem.
  • Place them in a bowl and add hot water to cover the chiles very well. Allow to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Place chilies in a blender, add garlic, peppercorns, oregano, and cumin. Pour in a cup chicken stock and blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce.
  • Strain the sauce (optional) and set aside.

Make the veggies topping

  • Peel the potatoes and carrots, then cut them into small cubes. Boil the vegetables with salt until al dente and then drain them well.
  • In a sauté pan heat two tablespoons of oil and sauté the potatoes and carrots for a couple of minutes.
  • Add one tablespoon of the chile sauce, mix well and turn off the heat. Keep the vegetables in a warm place until need it.

Make the chicken enchiladas

  • Heat a good glug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Soak one tortilla in the sauce making sure is well coated on both sides.
  • Fry the coated tortilla on both sides for a few seconds, pay attention to not fry long or they will become crispy.
  • Place the tortilla on a plate, put some shredded chicken in the middle and fold or roll (as you prefer).
  • Repeat with all tortillas and chicken and place 4 enchiladas on every plate or all of them in a serving plate with lettuce.
  • Top enchiladas with sautéed potatoes and carrots, diced onion, cheese, and drizzle with cream. Serve immediately.

NOTES

  • If you can’t find Guajillo and/or Pasilla chillies, you can replace them with ¼ cup of paprika and 1 medium red bell pepper.
  • You can also make the sauce ahead, the day before or even 3 days prior to making the enchiladas.
  • If you’d like a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with mushrooms sautéed with olive oil, onion and garlic.
  • You can also strain the sauce if you’d prefer to be smoother.
  • Use your roasted chicken leftovers or even better: Thanksgiving turkey! to make those scrumptious enchiladas!
  • Be careful when placing the tortilla into the oil as the splatters could burn your hands (use gloves or just add it very careful).
Nutrition
Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 599mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2310IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1mg
Don’t miss any recipe.Subscribe for free to our Newsletter!

LET ME KNOW IF YOU ENJOYED THIS CHICKEN ENCHILADA RECIPE by rating it and leaving a comment below, I’d love to hear from you! Also, remember that you can share my Italian pickled peppers recipe using the buttons below. Don’t forget to follow this blog too on PINTERESTINSTAGRAMFACEBOOK and YOUTUBE!

Similar Posts

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating