Authentic-Style Chicken Enchiladas

These are the most authentic tasting enchiladas I have ever had (next to my friend, Lavena’s that is).

Now my friend, Lavena, is of Mexican heritage and she makes one mean salsa (which I have been told I will NEVER get the recipe for), and an even meaner enchilada sauce.  When we were talking about enchilada sauce she says she does the oil and flour thing and gets a good quality New Mexico chili powder, and she uses water instead of the chicken broth and tomato puree.  Hmm, maybe I can get her to give me the recipe.  (moahahahamoahahaha….that’s my sinister laugh, just in case you were wondering.)

Before I start on my sauce, I soften my corn tortillas.  I used to dip them into hot oil to soften, but I found that placing them on a medium-high heat skillet for about a minute on each side does the same thing.  Less fat, better for you.  This just means I can add more cheese.

After I soften the tortillas I place them between pieces of foil.

I made cheese enchiladas instead of the chicken.  I used sharp cheddar, but you can use Colby or Monterey Jack.

In a large skillet heat your 3 tablespoons of oil.  Now whisk in 1 tablespoon all purpose flour.   Cook the flour for a one minute, making sure it doesn’t burn. (and be sure to whisk to incorporate the oil and flour).

Now add and whisk in your chili powder (I also add the cumin at this point, too).  Cook for about 30 seconds.  Just enough time to release the oils from the chili powder.

Now slowly add in the 2 cups of chicken broth, whisking the entire time.

Now add in the tomato puree.  Bring the sauce to boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.  Let simmer for 15 minutes so the flavors can blend and sauce will thicken slightly.  Season with salt if necessary.

Now since I only made the cheese version I’ll walk you through this step.  If you make the chicken then just shred your chicken breast meat and combine cheese, chicken and onion/Rotel mixture together.  Viola, there’s your chicken filling.

In a 9×13-inch pan put thin layer of the sauce on the bottom.  Dip each tortilla into the enchilada sauce and squeegie off the excess sauce.  

Place the filling down the middle of the tortilla.  Bring over one side of the tortilla then the other side, overlapping a little bit.  Now place enchilada seam side down.

Once all the enchiladas have been filled and rolled then evenly spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the filled tortillas.  Now top with more delicious cheese.  If you wish, you can put onions on top or inside with the cheese filling.

Now pour yourself a nice, cold margarita and enjoy your fiesta.  Ole.

Authentic-Style Enchiladas with Chicken or Cheese
Sauce by Emeril Lagasse

Enchilada sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup good quality Mexican Chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
10-ounce can of tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt to taste

3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese plus additional to top enchiladas with
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup, divided)
1/2 cup Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
10 corn tortillas

Sour cream
Iceberg lettuce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make sauce:  In a 10 or 12″ skillet heat (on medium heat) 3 tablespoons of oil, add flour and cook, whisking for 1 minute.  Add chili powder and cook for about 30 seconds, it will puff up, whisking constantly.  Slowly stir in the chicken stock, then the tomato puree and ground cumin.  Bring sauce to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes or until flavors are well-blended.  Season to taste with salt.

In a blender add 1/2 cup of onion and 1/2 cup Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies.  Puree.  combine the cheese, chicken, remaining onion and the rotel sauce mixture.  Set aside.

Warm a 10″ skillet on medium high heat.  Place, one at a time, the corn tortillas on the heat, about 30-60 seconds each side.  This will soften the tortillas.  Place in between foil to keep warm.  Do this for each tortilla.   Now line up your tortillas, the enchilada sauce, filling and a 9×13″ pan with a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom.

Working one at a time, dip a corn tortilla into the enchilada sauce, then place a generous amount of chicken/cheese filling down the center of the tortilla and roll up; place enchilada seam-side down in a baking dish and repeat until all ingredients are used up (except for the enchilada sauce).  Top the enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce and a little bit of shredded cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Garnish with sour cream, lettuce and guacamole if you wish to really jazz up these delicious enchiladas.  Serves 4-6.



  1. Lynne Pautsch says:

    I am picky about Mexican food since I was raised on authentic Mexican cuisine. Made these tonight, they are delicious! Close to my mother’s recipe, but healthier. Thanks, Melissa!

  2. Hi Lynne, thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re enjoying all the recipes. This is one of my favorites, too! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired! Extremely useful information particularly the final phase :) I take care of such information a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  4. Jon the Viking says:

    Thank you so much for this incredible, authentic and flavorful recipe! Very clear and concise instructions…easy to follow! I was a gourmet cook at the Hilton in Gainesville Florida for years, and I’ve looked for a great enchilada recipe for a long time…the whole family loved it! Thx again!

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