I’m excited to share today a recipe I’ve made countless times that is always a huge hit.
I’m always slightly hesitant to post recipes on here that require a bit of extra time and TLC. I want to add though that for this recipe you can save about 45 minutes of time using already cooked shredded chicken as oppose to cooking the chicken thighs. What makes this recipe extra delicious is the homemade enchilada sauce. You will never want to buy bottled enchilada sauce again I promise. It has so much more flavor.
This dish is really a crowd pleaser. I’m also just a total sucker for any dinner that is in “casserole” form if you will. Even my Dad who is a pretty picky eater (he could live off salads for dinner which I will never understand) really enjoyed them!
The recipe starts off by searing bone in chicken thighs. I use chicken thighs over chicken breasts because they have more flavor and they braise better than chicken breasts do.
Once you sear all the chicken thighs for about 3 minutes per side, add 1 chopped red bell pepper and yellow onion.
After a few minutes add in the garlic and spices: chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt and pepper.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes then add in 1 can fire roasted diced chopped tomatoes, chipotle in adobo sauce, bouillon paste, chicken stock, and the chicken thighs back to the pan. Add a splash of water and bring to a rapid simmer. Cook uncovered for about 35 minutes until the chicken is nice and tender. Again, if you’re using pre cooked chicken all you have to do is saute the veggies, add the spices, chopped tomatoes, adobo sauce, bouillon, and chicken stock and allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan and then add in the thickening agent for the sauce: corn tortillas!. A lot of enchilada sauce recipes I find online use flour to thicken the sauce which I find to be a bit weird. Might as well use corn tortillas to get some extra flavor!
So once the chicken is removed and set to cool off a bit, add in 3 corn tortillas to the sauce and let them soak for about 3 minutes. Then transfer the whole mixture to a blender and blend! You can also just use an immersion blender if you have one!
Once the sauce is blended, add in the juice of 1 lime and a large pinch of salt. Blend once more and set aside!
The next step is to shred the chicken once it is cool enough to handle. Discard the chicken skin and bones and just shred up the meat. To the shredded meat add 1 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of frozen corn, and 1/4 cup sour cream. The sour cream is definitely optional. Sometimes I add it, and sometimes I don’t. If you’re worried about the heat level of your sauce, I would definitely add the sour cream to help balance it out.
Time to make the enchiladas. Line a large baking dish with a thin layer of the sauce. Then generously fill your enchiladas and line the up in the pan. You can use flour or corn tortillas here. Flour are a bit easier to work with and don’t break as easily. I usually do a combination of both since I prefer the flavor and texture of corn tortillas.
Top with the remaining sauce and remaining cheese!
Then bake at 350 for 30 minutes, switch the oven to broil, and cook for 2-3 more minutes (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn!)
YUM. I’m seriously obsessed with this recipe you guys!!
Top with desired toppings and serve! I made some homemade guacamole to go with dinner. It was fab!
- 3.5 pounds bone in chicken thighs (or 2.5 cups shredded cooked chicken)*
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp chipotle in adobo (just the sauce, not the whole chili)
- 1 tbsp better than bouillon paste
- 1 14oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup frozen corn (optional)
- ¼ cup sour cream (optional)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 corn tortillas (plus more for rolling)
- Salt and pepper
- Flour or corn tortillas (about 12 total)
- Heat a large skillet to high heat and add in 1 tbsp olive oil. Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear with the skin side down (if using skin on thighs) for about 4 minutes per side. You may have to sear in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Once all the chicken is seared, set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium high heat, add the red bell pepper and onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add in the chopped garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano,a large pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Next, add in the adobo sauce, bouillon paste, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock. Add the chicken back into the pan (along with about ¼ cup water) and bring to a rapid simmer. Simmer uncovered for about 35 minutes until the chicken is nice and tender.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the pan (just the chicken) and set aside to cool. To the pan, add in 3 corn tortillas and allow them to soak in the sauce for about 3 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend well. Season sauce to taste with salt and the juice of 1 lime.
- Once chicken is cool enough to handle, discard all the skin and bones and shred up the meat. Mix the meat with about 1 cup of the enchilada sauce, frozen corn, sour cream, and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese.
- In a large baking dish, line the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of the enchilada sauce. Roll up your enchiladas generously filling them with the chicken mixture. Use either flour or corn tortillas, or a combination of both. Place in the baking dish.
- Top the rolled enchiladas with a layer of the remaining sauce plus the extra cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and then set the oven to broil and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
- Serve with desired toppings! (guacamole, scallions, cilantro, sour cream, etc)
You will save yourself about 45 minutes of time with this recipe if you use pre cooked shredded chicken. Skip to step 2 and just saute the bell pepper and onion in olive oil. Instead of adding the chicken and water to the pan in step 3, just simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes before adding the corn tortillas.
I hope you give this recipe a try! Comment below and let me know what you think.
Have a great day everyone!