Today, #FoodieExtravaganza is #CrazyforChiles! I am joining the event with a recipe for Enchiladas Rojas- chicken enchiladas topped with a red Guajillo Pasilla sauce, sliced onions, crema, and crumbled queso fresco.
Disclosure: I received an assortment of dried chiles from Melissa’s Produce for this #FoodieExtravaganza event. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme from The Nibble into recipes to share with you and Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla decided to celebrate National Enchilada Day (on May 5th) for today’s event. Other foods celebrated in May include Asparagus, Hamburgers, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Vanilla Pudding, Strawberries and Cream, Shrimp, and Salad.
If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. Posting day is alway the first Wednesday of the month. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.
There are many types of Enchiladas Rojas depending on the region, family, and what ingredients are available. For this particular version adapted from the cookbook- Enchiladas, I filled softened corn tortillas with shredded chicken and topped them with a red Guajillo Pasilla sauce, sliced onions, crema, and crumbled queso fresco. They can also be served with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, and even pan-fried vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.
To make the sauce for the enchiladas, I softened Guajillo and Pasilla Negro chiles from Melissa’s Produce and blended them with blistered tomatoes, onions, and garlic. I slowly added chicken stock to create a thin sauce, then strained the mixture before heating on the stove. I dipped the tortillas briefly in the sauce after softening, but another option is to dip the tortilla in the sauce and then fry briefly in the oil on each side before filling (keep a splatter guard handy).
Looking for a meat-free version? Try these Enchiladas Rojas de Queso (Red Enchiladas with Cheese).
Guajillo Chiles (I used Melissa’s under the Don Enrique® label) are 4-6 inches long with a deep red-orange tough skin. They are the dried version of the Mirasol chile and have a complex fruity flavor with a sweet mild to medium heat.
Pasilla Chiles (I also used Melissa’s under the Don Enrique® label) are the dried version of the chilaca chile. They are dark brown, nearly black, and are 5-7 inches long with wrinkled skin and fruity tones of berry and raisin. These chiles have a little more heat than the Guajillo and are particularly popular for seafood sauces and moles.
Queso Fresco is a crumbly, unaged cheese with a mild flavor. It is made with cow’s or a mixture of cow and goat milk. It is located in many larger grocery stores and International Markets featuring Mexican ingredients. If you are unable to locate it, you can make your own or use a mild feta.
Mexican crema is a dairy product similar to sour cream, but a bit thinner and more mild. It is available in some larger grocery stores and markets specializing in Mexican products. You can also substitute by whisking together equal parts sour cream to heavy cream with a pinch of salt.
Check out what everyone else made for the event!
Enchiladas Rojas Recipe
Adapted from Enchiladas
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 small white onion peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 4 guajillo chiles
- 2 pasilla chiles
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1/4 white onion unpeeled
- 2 garlic cloves unpeeled
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 1/2-2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil
- 1 white onion thinly sliced
- Queso fresco crumbled
- Crema Mexicana
To poach the chicken:
In a large pot, add 3 quarts of water and salt, onion, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Add the chicken breasts and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook until the thickest part of the chicken breast is 165˚F, 30-45 minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Shred the chicken and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the sauce:
Remove the stems and shake out the seeds from the chiles. Place a large comal or skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the guajillo and pasilla chiles on each side for about 20 seconds, being careful not to let them burn, then place in a large bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for up to 15 minutes, until softened.
Add the tomatoes, onions, and garlic to the skillet, dry roasting on all sides until charred with black and brown spots. Remove the garlic first, followed by the tomatoes and onion. Remove the skin from the onion and garlic and the core from the tomatoes.
Place the softened chiles in a blender with the tomatoes onion, garlic, and oregano. Process until smooth, slowly adding the chicken stock to create a sauce. Strain the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer.
In a saucepan, drizzle the 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the strained mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover, and keep warm while the enchiladas are prepared.
To assemble the enchiladas:
Warm the shredded chicken.
In a heavy skillet, drizzle oil to a depth of 1/2 inch over medium heat until 300˚F. Add a tortilla to the oil just long enough to soften, a few seconds. Transfer to a towel-lined plate to catch excess oil. Dip the softened tortilla in the sauce briefly, place on work surface and add about 2 tablespoons of the warmed chicken across the lower third of the tortilla. Roll up and transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Cover the rolled tortillas with the warm sauce and garnish with onion, queso fresco, and crema. Serve immediately.