Enchilada is a dish with its roots in Mexico, described already in the first half of the 19th century. It is a rolled corn tortilla wrapped around stuffing and covered with tomato and chilli sauce. Originally stuffing was a small fish but nowadays it is a variety of fish, seafood, meats and vegetables. A word enchilada means “to add chilli pepper”.
My enchilada is a chicken, pepper, corn and avocado wraps in homemade ancho chill and tomato sauce. To give it more richness I bake it with mozzarella cheese. Not the healthiest but extremely tasty version 🙂
To serve four people:
1kg chicken thighs or 400g of breast
2 red onions
2 medium heat red chillis
1 dried Ancho chilli
3 cloves of garlic
Few stalks of coriander
200g of mozzarella
8 corn tortillas
Salt, paprika, cumin, smoked paprika
A hob, an oven, a baking tray, a 5l pot, a food processor, a mixing bowl
You have to start to prepare your chicken first. I recommend chicken thighs as for me they have more taste and are not so dry like a breast. Thighs place in a pot. Chopp in 1 red onion, chillis (without seed) and garlic. Add salt and oregano, cover with cold water and bring to boil, then turn down a heat and simmer until meat is cooked and coming off the bone easily, approximately 30 – 40 min.
When chicken is ready, take it out on the plate and let cool down a little bit. KEEP the stock with ALL the vegetables inside.
Place a pot on a hob and make oil hot. Cut tomatoes in quarters and drop onto the hot oil. You have to caramelize them to expose natural sweetness. You don’t have to stir too much to give them time to colour. Next, cover tomatoes with chicken stock and vegetables and cook for few minutes to give the flavours chance to mix together.
This is a perfect time to warm up an oven to 180°C and set up the food processor. Put your sauce into the jug and blitz. Your original enchilada base sauce is ready. You can pass it through the chinois or sieve to get rid off all the seeds and skins but I like their bitterness and natural look so I keep it like this.
Dice red onion and garlic and sweat it down. Add cumin and paprikas in the quantities that you like. I prefer my food richer so I put 1.5 tablespoons of each. Toasting dry spices with onion “activate” them and intensify their flavour. Pour over all your sauce base and reduce down to the right consistency. It should be slightly thick. Season it in the end with lime juice, salt, muscovado sugar and some extra chilli if you prefer it hotter.
While your sauce is reducing pick the meat and shred it. Mix with roughly chopped coriander and corn. Combine together with half of the batch of the sauce.
From this point, you are few minutes from finally tasting your amazing dish 🙂
Layer bottom of the baking tray with part of the sauce. Each tortilla stuff with meat mix, pepper and avocado and roll tight (you can find instruction in this post). Place them with sealing down on the tray. Topped with sauce and a good portion of cheese put in the oven and bake for 10 – 15 min until golden brown.
Portion and serve with sour cream and hot peppers. Perfect match with cold beer.
Enchilada takes a little bit of time to make, but effort results in flavourful, tasty and filling dish that is perfect for a house party or mid-week lunch. Enjoy cooking 🙂