Homemade Enchiladas will always be one of my simple pleasures, and making your own Enchilada Red Sauce is easy to do and so much better than store bought.
Being half Mexican and growing up in San Antonio I learned to love Mexican Food at an early age and with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner I thought this would be a great way to celebrate my heritage.
One of my earliest memories is my Grandmother sending me down the block to Alejandro’s to buy Red Corn Tortillas so she could make me Enchiladas. Although there was no Enchilada Red Sauce involved in her simply prepared gastronomical delight, they were no less delicious and I would eat them as fast as that sweet woman could make them.
Truth be told I’m not sure which one of us enjoyed the process more, because she loved to see me eat and would grab my pudgy little cheeks and speak to me in Spanish that I didn’t understand, but even at that age I didn’t need a translator to know she was telling me how much she loved me.
I started by making Red Enchilada Sauce and I have to admit to having only made it once before many years ago. I wanted it to be smooth right from the start so instead of crushed tomatoes I bought organic tomato sauce. To that, I added basic spices most of which you may already have on hand and a little brown sugar.
While getting my ingredients together to make Chicken Enchiladas, I also gathered a few extra items and made some vegetable enchiladas and a salsa verde.
I needed to cook the salsa verde which somehow slipped my mind during the show and actually made more of salsa than a Green Enchilada Sauce. So uncooked you’ve got a great dip, and if you want more of a sauce let it simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat adding a little chicken stock to the mix.
I used the uncooked sauce on my vegetable enchiladas and they were delicious, but not quite as flavorful as the Chicken Enchiladas. I will definitely cook the green sauce next time.
But the end result was amazingly delicious Chicken Enchiladas and the star of the show was the homemade Red Enchilada Sauce. There are so many uses for this flavorful sauce and although I didn’t make mine very hot, you can always add extra chili peppers to the mix or hot sauce to get the level of heat up to your liking. For me, it was just hot enough and simply delicious!
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Enchilada Red Sauce and Enchiladas
Enchilada Red Sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour I used Gluten Free AP
- 2 16 ounce cans tomato sauce I used organic Muir Glen brand
- 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying tortillas
- 12 corn tortillas or more
- 2 cups pulled or chopped chicken meat I seasoned mine with the same seasoning used for sauce
- 4 ounces queso fresco ( you can sub monterey jack cheddar or your favorite cheese)
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 4 ounces shredded mexican cheese blend or monterey jack or cheddar
- Red Enchilada Sauce from recipe above
Red Enchilada Sauce
- In a saucepan heat vegetable oil over medium heat, then add flour and mix well. Turn down heat slightly and allow flour/oil mixture to cook for a few minutes.
- Add tomatoes, chicken stock, spices and brown sugar to saucepan and mix well.
- Bring to a slight boil then reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
- Use sauce for your enchiladas and store the remainder in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for even longer storage.
- add vegetable oil to a frying pan and allow oil to get hot
- place corn tortillas in hot oil for about 10 seconds on each side, placing on paper towels to drain as you continue the process. Make sure to pat excess oil off of both sides and handle the tortillas gently as they will easily tear.
- after all the tortillas have been fried you can begin assembly
- place about 2 tablespoons of chicken in each tortilla, along with 1 tablespoon of queso fresco and as much chopped onion as you like.
- roll the enchilada up and gently place into a baking dish. Repeat the process until completed.
- Once all the enchiladas are in your baking dish, spoon a generous amount of Red Enchilada Sauce over the middle of the enchiladas, then top with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees and serve with your favorite sides.