Enchiladas are awesome, they are like little wet burritos filled with deliciousness. What more could you ask for? These enchiladas, as stated above, are filled with chicken, onion, and a chayote, which is a Latin American squash. They are hearty and delicious, adding a unique but calming flavor to any dish.
Enchiladas were always one of my favorite meals as a kid. Growing up in San Diego, California, I was always blessed with having an abundance of superb Mexican food. So things like fresh chips and salsa, street tacos, burritos, and of course enchiladas were something of the norm, but oh so amazing!
Red sauce or green sauce… that is the question! Who cares, they are both delicious!! Salud!
However, to me, enchiladas were always about the color. Was it green or red? I would always go red! That was until I met my beautiful wife, Ziba, who has half her roots from Mexico. She is a firm believer in green or better yet tomatillo sauce. So as it comes to be this is the start to our journey of sauces! Later down the road, we will be adding both a peppery red and a green tomatillo sauce for all of you to enjoy!
Lets get serious though, this recipe could be time consuming and complex because of the sauce, roasting a chicken, making homemade tortillas and so on. But to make your life easier, just buy a rotisserie chicken, and some tortillas at the store and enjoy that extra quality time around your table with your beautiful family.
Family Table Talk
Here is some fun information about this recipe that can be used to spur on loving and open conversations between family and friends!
Origin – Mexico
Geography – North America
Root – Enchilar, meaning ‘seasoned with chiles’.
Variation – sauces such as red pepper, tomatillo, black bean, and mole
1. If you made an ‘enchilada’ from a different culture, what would you put in it? Think crepes, naan bread, spring wrap, or even seaweed…
2. If you could visit anywhere in Mexico, where would it be?
3. If you were to create another country, what would you name it, and describe a distinctive part about it? For example, its food, geography, language, weather, location, or even its music.
Authentic Mexican Chicken and Chayote Enchiladas with Red Sauce
This recipe has been adapted and reinvented from Chef Rick Bayless, at Frontera®. It will make two trays of six enchiladas for a total of 12.
2 tsp cooking oil
12 corn tortillas, oiled and warmed in oven*
1 tbsp of oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 chayote, cleaned and cubed
3 cups of chicken, shredded
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 cups of red enchilada sauce
extra enchilada sauce
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled**
- Preheat your oven to 200F degrees (keep warm setting). Brush oil on each side of your 12 tortillas, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in the oven to warm while you prepare the filling.
- Warm up your enchilada sauce at this time in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. While this is warming up, lets make the filling.
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat with 1 tbsp of oil, sauté your onion and chayote until they are browned. Add in your chicken once the vegetables are cooked, cook until all ingredients are warm throughout then remove from heat.
- Add a few ladles of the enchilada sauce into your chicken filling and mix to coat. Add 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce to your baking dish and spread evenly. Begin filling the warmed tortillas with the chicken and chayote mixture. Roughly 1/3 cup per tortilla, then lightly wrap them and place them in your 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover your filled tortillas with enchilada sauce. You want to spoon the sauce over every part of the tortilla but make sure to reserve some for serving.
- Turn your broiler on high and broil your enchiladas for roughly 4-5 minutes until everything is warmed. Spoon your extra enchilada sauce on top once you remove them from the oven.
- Top the enchiladas with diced red onion, chopped cilantro, and crumbled queso fresco. Serve with fresh avocado and pinto beans. Devour until there are no more enchiladas.
* Make sure you oil and warm your tortillas. This will help them from falling apart or becoming soggy once they are baked.
** If you are unable to find queso fresco, try to find cotija cheese. Search for a Latin supermarket for these items. Worse case scenario, top it with shredded pepper jack cheese. Either way they will be delicious!