Chicken Enchiladas & Spanish Rice

by byn on January 5, 2012

in Chicken & Turkey

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The last time I made enchiladas must have been about eight years ago. I was trying to re-create what I was frequently eating at Mexican chain restaurants near my office, and the version I came up with (pieced together from a few recipes on was okay, but I remember it being very messy and time consuming, and I haven’t touched it since.

I decided to tackle this project again over my Christmas holidays, and the results were way easier and tastier, if I do say so myself.  I’m not really sure what I was afraid of – I mean enchiladas are really just baked soft tacos, and essentially a combination of four components with a variety of possibilities:

1. Tortillas – corn or flour, white or whole wheat (I used corn tortillas for mine)
2. Filling – I made a shredded chicken filling in my slowcooker from a recipe (below) I found on GoodLife Eats. I loved it, but I’m already thinking of the following variations using some other recipes from my archives: Smoky Beef Enchiladas, Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas, Barbecue Pork Enchiladas. Pretty much anything goes, even just ground beef or turkey browned with some spices or taco seasoning.
3. Sauce – this is the one carry-over from my previous version. I found the recipe on and had copied it into my little recipe book. Let me tell you it couldn’t be easier and it stands up well. Or you can just buy a can of enchilada sauce.
4. Toppings – cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro, guacamole, and any other accessories you can think of.

As for the rice, I used to buy the package of Uncle Ben’s Spanish Rice, and stir in sauteed onions, peppers and lots of cilantro. I’ve had a Martha Stewart recipe for Spanish Rice bookmarked since June 2009 (what a procrastinator) so I finally made it, and it was a great replacement for the packaged version. It was super flavorful and a great side for the enchiladas, although next time I might nix the carrot in lieu of peppers, and throw in cilantro at the end, like my old version. This made an excellent Mexican feast for New Year’s Eve :)

Warning, lots of text below, as I’m showing you recipes for the chicken, sauce and rice. Let’s go!

Slowcooker Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken

Source: GoodLife Eats

Yield: Enough to fill 8 enchiladas, which will serve 4 people


1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp paprika

1/3 cup chicken broth or water

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 limes

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced


  1. Heat oil in a medium sized skillet, over medium heat, and add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander and paprika and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the chicken broth or water, and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  2. Add the chicken to the slowcooker, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Squeeze the limes overtop, sprinkle with jalapeno and pour the onion and spice mixture overtop. Cook on low for about 4 hours.
  3. I removed the chicken to a big bowl, and shredded it with two forks (it will basically be falling apart). I added back about 2/3 of the sauce/liquid from the slowcooker and mixed it up. This would also be great in tacos!

Red Enchilada Sauce


Yield: enough for one pan of enchiladas


1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup minced onion

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp coarse salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup tomato sauce (plain, unseasoned tomato sauce, not pasta sauce, I think crushed tomatoes would be fine too)

1 1/2 cups water

(The original recipe also calls for 1/4 cup salsa, but as I loathe jarred salsa, I never have it around. If you do, throw it in!)


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

***To assemble enchiladas, get out a big 9×13 glass baking dish. Spoon about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into the dish and spread it around to coat the bottom. Get a little assembly line going, spread out 8 tortillas, and divide the chicken among them. Roll each up fairly tightly and place seam side down in the pan. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas (I wish I had a picture of this, but I forgot to take one!) At this point I stuck mine in the fridge until my friends came over. When you’re ready to eat, reheat in a 375 oven for about 30 minutes until hot. Cover with grated cheese (I used cheddar and monteray jack), and pop back in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with your desired toppings, and rice (below).***

Spanish Rice

Source: Martha Stewart

Yield: 4 servings


2 tsp vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 carrot, diced

1 cup long grain white rice

1 3/4 cup chicken stock or water

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp coarse salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan (that has a lid), heat oil over medium heat, then add onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice to coat, then add chicken stock or water, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stir well and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer until water is absorbed, about 17 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit with the cover on for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and away you go!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

erinyyz January 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm

It was soooo good!! I look forward to NYE because of what you feed me while I lounge in my sweats!! :)


Melanie January 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

My mouth is watering and it’s barely 9 am! Can’t wait to try ALL of these recipes!


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