Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese


I know, I know. Rick Bayless recipes are becoming the new goat cheese recipes on my blog.  But, what can I say? When every recipe I’ve tried has been so simple to make and so good, how can I not keep going back to Mexican Everyday?

I don’t make enchiladas very often because even though they’re not hard to make, they are  fairly time-consuming to assemble.  One thing this recipe definitely taught me is that heating the tortillas in the oven, especially since it’s already heating to bake the enchiladas, is much easier than frying or heating each individual tortilla over a burner.  I didn’t cook my chicken the night before making this as I had initially planned, so I would say that, start to finish (cooking the chicken to actually sticking the enchiladas in the oven), was about an hour (then add to that the baking time).

This recipe was quick and quite tasty, but I have a lot of notes about it, which I decided to put at the end rather than here.  I don’t flatter myself – I know not everyone reads my really exciting and incredibly witty introductions.  Don’t let the notes fool you. These were good enchiladas. Did I think there were a few problems with the amounts?  Yes. Would I change a thing or two next time? Yes.  But the point is, there will be a next time.

Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese

24 thoughts on “Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese

  1. These look SO delicious! I don’t know if I’ve ever had an enchilada I didn’t like, but considering this is a Rick Bayless recipe, it must be great! Quick question – did you get the guajillo chiles at a typical grocery store (Dominick’s or Jewel) or did you need to go to Whole Foods to find them? Thanks!!!!

    1. Hi Meghan – I actually got them at a grocery store in my neighborhood that has various international ingredients. I’m not sure what your grocery store is like, but there’s a good chance you’ll have to try WF or even better a Mexican grocery store (they are way cheaper there, too).

  2. Rick Bayless seems like such a nice guy when I see him on television too … I’ve been meaning to pick up this book. The dish looks great and thanks for the notes at the end; I find it so helpful to really hear about others’ entire experience and tweak a recipe accordingly.

  3. These look so incredibly good! We love enchiladas and have them almost every week 🙂 I will definitely be trying this version, and I think I”m just going to have to order the cookbook already. As much as we love Mexican food, it would be silly not to 🙂

  4. mmm.. looks so good and I’ve always wondered about how complex his recipes would be after seeing him on Top Chef. Made enchiladas once with sauce out of a package.

    wandered over from tastespotting… we’re right next to each other today

  5. They look really good, i’m mexican and i’ve tried a similar recipe, the only thing that we don’d do here often is “and stir another 1/2 cup sauce into the chicken”, usually the chicken is done the way you did it, a bit roasted or just cooked.

  6. Was just googling because I made this recipe for dinner tonight and found your blog! Man, these were some tasty enchiladas.

    For what it’s worth, I found the sauce incredibly hard to strain as well. I wound up pushing through what I could, then adding a little water to help get the rest through (maybe 3 tablespoons or so), then cooking the sauce a bit longer to let the water evaporate out.

  7. I’ve never made enchiladas but they look so good. I’ve decided to give it a try.I know my niece can give any tips I may need. I don’t know about those guajillo chiles though, they may be hard to find.

  8. I know it’s kind of cheating but when your trying to get three boys fed in between baseball and homework you can always get a ready roasted chicken at the market while getting the other parts!

  9. You might try rehydrating the chiles in some boiling water for 10-15 minutes to ease the straining part. I bet this would also impart more flavor since a bunch of the skin was probably lost in your strainer. Looks like a great recipe though!

    1. Hannah, I just made a stew where I did that (boiled, then pureed/strained) and it was definitely much easier, so I think I will try that next time around.

  10. Yes, what we usually do for dried chiles is this: wipe with damp cloth to remove any dirt, tear into pieces (remove stems and strips of membrane; remove seeds also if you want it milder), then toast pieces on cast iron on med-low heat, alternately pressing and turning to avoid burning (a wok works really well; watch the fumes- open a window), then place pieces into a bowl and cover with hot water and a plate to submerge and soak for an hour or two… then puree (adding soaking-liquid and/or water as needed), and then strain through a wire sieve (you can also use a Foley/hand-crank, but the sauce will be smoother with the sieve), pressing with the back of a spoon until you have nothing but the fiber/seeds left to discard. Since this sauce uses tomatoes for the sweet/sour taste, these would be pureed and strained with the chiles together. Then reduce this fine puree to desired consistency and season to taste.

    I hope that helps. I think Mr. Bayless left this step out- have never heard of trying to “do it dry” before. And btw: your enchiladas look lovely! 😉

  11. The key to make them amazing and authentic is take the tortillas and soak them in the sauce, then fry them in lard for 1 min. on each side which will make them plyable and soaked to perfection. Let them cool and then roll.

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