Cooking Classes


Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Tortillas

It is Daring Cooks time again.  It seems to come earlier every month!  May is the month of Cinco de Mayo, a regional holiday in Mexico.  In celebration, our hosts chose a Mexican theme.  I love Mexican food.  The dish chosen is rather high in calories so I am making a leaner version - chicken enchiladas.  It might be leaner in calories but not in flavour.  I am also making my own flour tortillas.  The recipe is below.

The tortillas were absolutely fantastic.  Not exactly round, but tasty!

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh. 

Chicken Enchiladas with Ancho-Guajillo Chile Sauce

Ancho-Guajillo Chile Sauce
9 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into pieces
6 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into pieces
5 cups very hot water
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 tsp fine sea salt

Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes.  Add all chile pieces; cook just until chiles blister, pressing with metal spatula and turning occasionally, about 30 seconds.
Transfer chiles to a bowl; add 5 cups very hot water.  Soak chiles until very tender, pushing occasionally to submerge, about 30 minutes. 
Working in 3 batches, puree chiles with soaking liquid and all remaining ingredients in blender until smooth.  Season sauce with more salt if desired.  (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.) 

6 cups water
6 chicken thighs with skin and bone (I used one whole fryer)
1 small white onion, quartered
6 garlic cloves, halved
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup crumbled queso fresco (can substitute with feta)
3 pickled jalapeno chiles, halved

Bring first 5 ingredients to boil in large pot.  Reduce heat; simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.  Cool chicken in broth 30 minutes, then transfer chicken to bowl and cool completely (reserve broth for another use).

Shred the chicken with two forks.  Add enough Ancho-Guajillo chile sauce to taste.

Wrap flour tortillas in aluminium foil and warm in the oven.

Remove tortillas from foil one at a time.  Hold one in the palm of your hand and put about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in it and roll up.  Place in a greased ovenproof dish, seam side down.  Continue until you have made the number of enchiladas that you need.

Pour some of the Ancho-Guajillo sauce over the rolled enchiladas.  Top with grated cheddar or Monterey Jack (or both) cheese.  Bake until bubbling and cheese is melted.  This will take about 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with sliced pickled jalapenos and crumbled queso fresco. 

Serve with rice and black beans, oven roasted squash and corn.

Tortillas de Harina/Flour Tortillas
Translated recipe from Blanca Diaz
(Watch the detailed video of her making the tortillas.)

I found this recipe for tortillas on Memoria's blog Mangio da Sola.  Since she is from Texas and is the reigning queen of Tex-Mex, I didn't think I could do better.

Cooks Notes:The tortillas should be soft and bubbly. I think the key to a good tortilla is to mix/stir the dry ingredients (even though she stated not to do so), and break in the shortening. Next start the mixer and then add the hot water as it mixes. The dough should be wet but not too wet (I usually use all of the water in the recipe). Don't forget to let the dough sit for 30 minutes before rolling the dough. You should be able to roll it in a ball easily. I also add an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder to ensure rise. Also, don't let it heat up too long the first time you put it on the comal or skillet. The first exposure to heat is the most important part, I think. Flip it over as soon as you see a few bubbles.

Make ahead: Roll out all the dough balls and place between wax paper. Then place the wax papered tortillas in a freezer bag for later use. When ready to make them, just take them out and heat them on the comal or skillet.

3 ½ cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
7/8 cup (or a little less than 1 cup) of lard or shortening, cut into small pieces
¾ to 1 cup of very hot water (almost boiling)

1. Place the flour in a bowl.

2. Add the salt, baking powder, and fat without stirring.

3. Little by little, pour the very hot water over the ingredients and mix them with your hands (or dough attachment in your stand mixer), measuring the quantity of water until you reach the desired texture. It should be moist and soft, but not sticky.

4. Knead/Mix the dough for approximately 5 minutes, and form a ball.

5. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel, and allow it to rest inside of the bowl for 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Form small balls weighing approximately 40 grams each (if you don't have a scale, the balls should be more or less the size of a ping-pong or golf ball). Cover the little balls again with the towel as you roll each one out.

7. Place one of the balls on top of a clean surface, and press down on it lightly with your fingers.

8. Roll out the little ball until you form an oval. Lift up the oval and turn it to the right 45 degrees, and roll it out again. Turn it 45 degrees again to the right until you create a circle of the desired size.

9. Place the tortilla on a hot comal, griddle pan, or cast-iron skillet until it forms small bubbles on the uncooked side of the tortilla. Turn over the tortilla, and wait until it inflates a bit. Turn it again and with a spatula, press on it until the air inside goes out and stops inflating (I didn't do this last part because it stops puffing up once you remove it from the heat).

10. Store the tortillas in tortilla holder, covered container, or wrapped in a towel. You could also keep it warm in a low-temperature oven. These tortillas can be reheated the next day; store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Yields 18-20 tortillas; this recipe can be halved easily.


  1. Hi Sarah,
    I just discovered your blog and your good-looking recipe of cicken enchiladas!Thanks for sharing it! I´m gonna try it soon, cause I love the mexican cuisine, although I`m very far away from mexico.....I live in the south part of Germany! :)
    Best wishes from here to you, Beate

  2. Your tortillas turned out lovely! The enchiladas look delicious as well. I think I used too high of a heat when I cooked my tortillas so I'll try a lower setting next time, you're are a lot prettier than mine LOL :)

  3. Beate> welcome! I love Mexican food, too, but there is very little really good Mexican food in Canada. Very tasty when you make it at home!

    Andrea> thanks! Not all that round - I showed my best one! But when rolled, it hardly matters.

  4. I have a bag of masa flour at least a year old- I've been chicken to try and make tortillas..

  5. Homemade tortillas.... I'm impressed! The enchiladas look fantastic too.

  6. buffalodick> I know what you mean. I have been looking at this Rick Bayless masa cooking class in Bon Appetit since I bought it in 2003 and scared to try anything.

    Mags> thanks :)

  7. Nothing like homemade tortillas!

  8. I've never made my own tortillas, but now I'm inspired. I might have to go for it! Your enchilada sauce here sounds amazing!

  9. Un plat comme je les aime. Il doit être délicieux.
    A bientôt.

  10. True, there's limited Mexican food in Canada. I was so incredibly uninitiated and now look where I live! Talk about a learning curve, but it sure is good stuff! BTW, Rick Bayless' cookbooks are the bomb.

  11. Lovely job! I bet you can't even tell they're a leaner version}:P

  12. Your tortillas look perfectly circular to me and it is good to know that the dough can be frozen. I also love the sound of your sauce - the process seems somewhat simpler but looks just as delicious. Great work!

  13. Your enchiladas and tortillas look fantastic!! You did a great job on this challenge. Thanks for posting back to me.

  14. you certainly went all-out for this one, and i'm impressed! enchiladas are among my favorite mexican foods, especially when they're filled with chicken and ESPECIALLY when the tortillas are fresh. bravo!


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